ROYAL WILLIAM YARD SERIES
Built between 1826 and 1835, and designed by Sir John Rennie, the Royal William Yard served as the Royal Navy’s victualling yard in Plymouth. Fashioned from local limestone and granite, its neoclassical architecture created an imposing series of industrial buildings focussed upon the waterfront. For many years the Yard fell into neglect but now its rejuvenation is nearing completion, and a new contemporary set of activities are located within it.
Even with its new lease of life however, it is a pleasure to find that it has not lost its ‘haunting sense of absence’. The Yard is clearly still full of the ghosts of its past, and is a richer place because of it.
The following paintings are my enquiry into this quality. At first, as a means to gain insight, I aimed to just represent moments and places where this paradoxical nature seemed most apparent to me. Then, during the following 18 months, I began to feel more confident and clear in my understanding, and was able to make more abstract paintings about particular qualities of this character. In response to their subject matter, these later paintings also became larger in scale and were titled to reflect their specificity.