CROWDS

On a visit to Bombay in 2007,  I had the opportunity of visiting a studio where clay models of the Indian deity 'Ganesh' were being made for the Ganesh Chatruthi. Hundreds of these  models are made for the ten-day festival every year, when mantras are chanted to invoke life into these idols. On the last day, the devotees gather in their thousands to join a procession that leads to the sea where the idol is immersed in reverence. I followed this festival closely and was struck by the power of this gathering: the huge numbers combined wih their oneness in spirit. This became the subject for my next series - 'Crowd'. 

I have tried to depict these large gatherings with  strokes of paint, suggested by rapid palette knife marks with the use of rich, strong colour. This series of work reveal the rhythm and directional flow of swarming crowds, the patterns they make as they gravitate towards a focus, or forming a teeming mass as in 'Audience' or disperse, or casually stroll. The vitality and movement of figures and their power as 'one' is a subject that has hugely inspired me in life as in painting.