Oil on canvas 60 x 40 inches
This is a scene of Margate from its harbour. I spent a few weeks there in the autumn accompanying my then 16-year-old daughter Olivia, who was filming the lead in an independent feature film, Jellyfish. The story is of a young carer, Sarah Taylor (15) who discovers a hidden talent for comedy and also finds some solace in looking for jellyfish on the Margate beach.
Margate is a seaside town in Kent, England and one in transition. Margate has been hit hard by the economic decline since the sixties and this is shown in dilapidated buildings and street poverty. In dramatic contrast the old town by the harbour is of winding streets full of cafes and boutique shops. I have painted Margate with a bland frontage, broken by the yellow of Dreamland on the right and the pastel colours of the old town to the East.
I discovered a hidden joy of painting through self-therapy and found solace in painting since my life changing brain injury in 2009. My own life has been one in transition. I was hit hard by shrapnel from an Improvised Explosive Device, which hit my cognition and psychology even harder. I became a dilapidated version of my old self, my Army Officer self. I have had to redevelop and have restored some of my old self. In dramatic contrast to how I felt for the first few years after my injury, my life is of winding beauty and colour.
If I may be so bold, I could even contend I am living in dreamland. Though I never expected this, Margate is a mirror of my life.