"The term Red Crag is both descriptive and lyrical and caught my attention when I first moved to North East Essex. This is a series of abstract works using painterly techniques and processes to explore the landscape and its geology.
"My work has always been predominantly landscape based, but hopefully with a sound underpinning of abstract design. I embarked on my Red Crag series as a way of extending my interest in landscape by bringing the abstract elements to the fore, thus freeing myself from the often problematic placing of the horizon and the division between land (or sea) and sky. I have always loved the earth colours: iron oxide, ochre, umber, offset by blues and greens and intense vermillion. These are the colours that I find in the landscape that surrounds me in North East Essex, particularly In Harwich and Walton-on-the-Naze. I apply the paint quite freely and intuitively, layering up pigments and textures and then, in chosen areas, scrape back to the support and start the process again to give a notion of layering, depth and erosion and perhaps an idea of the passing of time.
"Martin Fidler and I were both students at Saint Albans School of Art in 1968 and, after a gap of nearly 45 years (a mere blink in geological time), met up again and discovered to our delight that we shared a lot in common in our approach to painting and looking at landscape. Almost inevitably this led to our collaboration on Red Crag." Melvyn King
"Since completing my MA in experimental painting at the Slade in London, my drawings, constructions, painting and book collaborations have been placed in public collections at the V&A, Tate Britain, Southampton City Art Gallery and the Museum of London. During parallel careers in art education and as an artist, an understanding of ‘a palette of different styles’ has helped broaden my ideas about composition, form and structure. In projects about coastal subjects, trees and gardens I use the interaction of being inside and outside realistic representation.
"The ongoing collaboration with the painter Melvyn King in Harwich is centred upon producing an imaginative response to the Red Crag ‘rock’ under the Essex coast. My constructions and paintings look through ‘the curtains of abstraction’ onto a hidden stage designed for invention and serious playfulness. They represent a new opportunity to explore a hidden horizon."