CONQUEST OF OPTIMISM – 1985 – Oil on Board – 1600 x 1180 mm
Private Collection, New Zealand
At this time the world was in a depressing state of anxiety over the fragility of east/west relations and the senselessness of the arms race. We were bombarded with pessimistic media images and it seemed to me that this pessimism was more than a symptom of the potentiality for nuclear war but a major contributing factor to the possible cause. My protagonist in the painting became my pillar of strength and the exaggerated glow from the fish the source of optimism that she carried. The two energy-charged sets of power-lines are a symbol of the potential for constructive dialogue and communication. It was the first time I was confident enough to use a variety of non place-specific elements within a painting and thus break out of the subjectivity of place/identity restrictions that realism almost inevitably finds itself.