Towards the end of foundation year everything seemed to fall together with my work, I was getting happier with the paintings that I was making ( the one on the left one of the few remaining) and I had a definite purpose and understanding with what I was doing and where I wanted to go. I just wanted to paint, and nothing else.
So began the round of college visits and applications . I went to Caerleon in Wales to have a look around , a new building on top of a hill in the middle of nowhere, lots of interesting work , but not a lot of painting. Wolverhampton , great computer suite , probably would have been the best choice , not Birmingham , to close to home, too industrial. My dad took me up to Wales and then the 2 1/2 hour journey down To Winchester which I really liked. Water meadows semi rural . They called me for interview later and the strange thing about that interview was that most of the people in it got in, and most of them became good friends later ( some of whom amidst all my bridge burning I'm still in touch with to this day).
This is one of the last prints I made at Bromsgrove , dry point etching on aluminum , I started with a larger plate then cut this one down into parts following the principal of get rid of what isn't working and keep what is. Its one of my personal favorites of anything I've ever done.
So at the end of Foundation in the summer of 1988 we held an exhibition of the work we'd made over the previous year , I'd got an offer of a place to study at Winchester and that was pretty much it. They set us a task for the summer which was as far as I remember to study some of the set texts for Art History , H.B.Chipps 'Theories of Modern art and John Bergers' 'ways of seeing', ways of seeing was a revelation to me , I studied Marx at school for A'level R.S ( religious studies) and a lot of the ideas in Bergers' book struck a chord with me.
Another project they set for us was to keep a sketchbook over the summer, so I wandered around the estate and Droitwich sketching things which might fit into my paintings and in that sketchbook is probably the only sketch I've done of my Dad. He was sleeping in one of the chairs in our sitting room after coming home from the pub so I just sat and quietly sketched this one out.