"Bacchus" is one of a series of acrylic paintings produced in a technique which imitates classical mosaic. The canvas panel, which is painted grey around the sides and able to be hung framed or unframed, depicts the god of wine against a background of grape-laden vines. Bacchus/Dionysos was worshipped in the form of a mask, which here hangs from a vine which grows magically from a silver-gilt wine-bowl.
The painting explores the possibilities of illusion on several levels. The painted surface creates the illusion of a mosaic panel. The mosaic, in turn, depicts the bowl, the vine and the mask. The mask represents the god. In addition, the gilded decoration of the bowl represents a grape-hung vine like the one growing from it. In the context of this gilded vine, the colours of the background itself come to suggest silver-gilt, as if the whole pInting is a decoration on an elaborate vessel.
The face of the god is part mask, part naturalistic face, and both forms part of the picture- plane and seems to emerge through it as if from a world beyond - or like the vine springing from the silver bowl.