‘Be-Bop Sirens’ is an acrylic painting 102x77cms on canvas. The idea for the painting originates from a poem by Lord Tennyson called Ulysses. Part of the story tells of Ulysses’ (Odysseus) resistance to the ‘sirens’. It also makes clear the stubborn intention and singular focus of the character. In Greek mythology, the two Sirens were dangerous creatures, who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island. The Sirens were called the ‘muses of the lower world’, "Their song, though irresistibly sweet, was no less sad than sweet, and lapped both body and soul in a fatal lethargy, the forerunner of death and corruption." The term "siren song" refers to an appeal that is hard to resist but that, if heeded, will lead to a bad conclusion. The painting is not intended as a literal translation. The story and the poem are the starting point to an expression of an idea. The painting is made in respect of the literature, mythology and ancient history associated with the story. The sources which inspire these particular paintings are varied and many, including historic signs, symbols and motifs, mythology, coastal skies, landscape, North African art, American Abstract Expressionism and I am continually inspired by modern and contemporary artists who demonstrate such a love for colour and light. John Hoyland, Barbara Rae, Elizabeth Frankenthaler, the Fauvists and the COBRA group continue to be so important to me. Music has had a profound impression on the structure of the painting. I listen to music whenever I work and in the making of this painting I have listened closely to Thelonious Monk. The boundaries of what can be managed in a painting present a constant challenge to me and through a process of layering, cancellation and improvisation my intention is always to test such boundaries.
Acrylic paint, dyes , crushed sea shells on canvas