From the Capitals and Columns series.
I first proposed building a Stacked Car Sundial nearly forty years ago when Expo 86, the World Transportation Fair, issued an open call to artists & designers for a transportation monument. My proposal wasn’t chosen, which was no surprise. It was, after all, a tongue in cheek proposal, albeit my honest assessment of our advertising machine driven consumer culture. Nevertheless, making the proposal inspired me to thereafter develop several paintings and sculptures related to the stacked car subject. But in all that time I did not manage to make a functioning sundial that would withstand the elements and tell the time in the light day.
I considered this a lapse. So, last year I started developing a scale model birdbath of the Stacked Car Sundial. Over the years the scope of the project has changed and I’ve incorporated the element of water into the overall design of the composition. This project integrates two disparate subjects of my past practice: representations of absurdly stacked consumer objects such as automobiles – with meditative representations of water surfaces. I’ve been interested in painting water surfaces since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1984 (my MA thesis considered reactions of contemporary critics, poets, politicians and artists to Claude Monet’s Nympheas series of paintings).
This work (in progress) combines the hard cold edges of industrial materials and symbols with life elements of wood and water. The reflective surface of the water gives rise to metaphysical considerations; dream-like, coupled with the hard awakening of the passing of time and civilizations lost.