This painting was worked on over a period of almost two years, sometimes intensively and at others times it sat in the studio untouched for long periods of time. It has looked like a hundred different paintings, with the composition shifting all over the surface, enlarging and shrinking continually.
During the later stages of working I realised that this painting could never work in the way I had wanted it to. I tried and tried to pack it with so much information, but getting these elements to work cohesively seemed like an absolute impossibility. It felt like any outcome was going to be a compromise and a let down. In this instance, no painting could do what I wanted it to do.
It eventually reached its conclusion turning into something unexpected, becoming more of a preservation of memory than the portrait I had set out to make. Despite the time spent working on it, it now seems more like a preliminary sketch or study for a possible series of paintings.