Laze Collection 2021

″… I can hardly believe my eyes. Who would have ever imagined, under this terrestrial crust, an ocean with ebbing and flowing tides, with winds and storms?”

Jules Verne – Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Laze — a combination of the words lava and haze — is the product of a chemical reaction that happens when molten lava hits the ocean. For this series of work, I wanted to embody the chaotic energy and explosive force of nature – a natural phenomenon resulting in both awe and terror and which has captivated humankind for centuries. Each striking painting is named after one of the world’s most fear inspiring volcanoes. Bold brush strokes and vibrant pops of colour form the basis of each piece. The paintings incorporate several layers of thinned colour, signifying the earth’s crust. These layers are then juxtaposed with opaque and bold brushstrokes. Black, orange and purple fill the canvas. Beauty in the mesmerising destruction.

There are volcanoes on every continent, even Antarctica. Some 1500 volcanoes are still considered potentially active today. During the painting of this series in spring 2021, four major volcanoes erupted; in Iceland, St Vincent, Hawai’i and Democratic Republic of Congo. A reminder of both the fragility and immensely awe-inspiring power of our planet.


Erebus

Acrylic on Canvas, Framed – 42 x 59.5 cm

Erebus, located on Ross Island, Antarctica, is the southernmost active volcano in the world. Beyond a dramatic sea of ice, a lava lake bubbles in the summit crater, feeding a continuous plume of gases across the Antarctic continent. The painting is formed by a build up of soft white and grey layers followed by furious opaque marks in neon orange, black and purple. Bold brushstrokes are visible throughout signifying the plumes of gas and steam that can be regularly seen. The volcano sits above a thin slice of crust, so molten rock more easily rises up from Earth’s interior. An extreme land of fire and ice.

Currently available at Framewerk Gallery, Belfast – please contact me for details.


Kīlauea

Acrylic on Canvas, Framed – 42 x 59.5 cm

Kīlauea is one of the most active of the volcanoes that together form the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. Its most recent eruption began in December 2020 and ended in May 2021. Kīlauea means “spewing” in the Hawaiian language, referring to its frequent outpouring of lava. Rivers of molten lava frequently course downhill into the ocean below. This painting is incredibly textured creating a dramatic spectacle of steam and boiling sea water. The deep blue ocean contrasts with the neon flashes cascading into the spray. An extraordinary and striking phenomenon.

Currently available at Framewerk Gallery, Belfast – please contact me for details.


Snæfellsjökull

Acrylic on Canvas, framed – 42 x 59.5 cm

“What for me is curious about this island is not what is above the surface, but what is below” – Jules Verne

Snæfellsjökull is a 700,000 year old volcano in Western Iceland. This glacier topped peak was the entrance to deep into the earth’s core in the 1864 novel ‘A Journey to the Centre of the Earth‘ by Jules Verne. I had the privilege to visit this volcano in 2016 and I was struck by the stark rocky surface; barren and bleak in its stunning wilderness. Layers of paint drip down into the earth’s crust, forming several layers of colour and texture.

Currently available at Framewerk Gallery, Belfast – please contact me for details.


‘Nyiragongo’

Acrylic and Gold Leaf on Canvas, Unframed – 42 x 59.5 cm

On 22 May 2021, Mount Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo began erupting. It is part of the Virunga volcanic chain and is infamous for its extremely fluid lava that runs as water when the lava lake drains. The dark background of the canvas contrasts with flashes of neon orange and cadmium yellow, signifying dark, deadly terror, contrasting with the mesmerising pyrotechnic outbursts of liquid magma. Bold layers of dense paint create gushing movement which is specked with gold flakes and ferocious, intuitive wild marks.

The lava flow destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses and tragically 32 lives were lost. Proceeds from this painting will be donated to the  Virunga Foundation. Virunga supplies more than 70% of Goma’s power, not only electrifying tens of thousands of homes and businesses but also enabling critical water stations on Lake Kivu to function for over a million people. With the loss of power to these pumping stations, this essential and life preserving service has been entirely disrupted.

Available for sale – Please contact me for details.


La Soufrière

Acrylic on Canvas, unframed – 42 x 59.5 cm

La Soufrière is an active stratovolcano on the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent. The latest eruptive activity began in December 2020, with a series of explosive events beginning in April 2021. The painting is made up of several explosive layers of saturated colour forming intense flames jolting against each other. A lush purple haze, or ‘laze‘ flares up from the dense black background, culminating in sharp stabbing neon orange ‘flames’ and fluid black intuitive marks. The name ‘Soufriere’ is a French term, literally translated to mean, “sulphur in the air”.

Available for sale – Please contact me for details.


Fagradalsfjall

Acrylic on Canvas, unframed – 42 x 59.5 cm

Fagradalsfjall is a shield volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland which began erupting in March 2021 and continued throughout the completion of this painting. The name translates as beautiful valley mountain and the textured canvas depicts the black lava fields in the surrounding valleys. Vibrant orange and red marks flow out of the deep black crevasses, forming chaotic and haphazard pyrotechnics across the canvas. The majestic bubbling hot lava flow lights up the night sky encapsulating the power and destructive beauty. As of July 2021, Fagradalsfjall is still erupting.

Available for sale – Please contact me for details.

More Coming August 2021

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