CHANGING THE NEED
Graphite, oil and resin on aluminium
97 x 125 cm
The title refers to the artist's sense for new needs in his art and his life. The painting makes use of a recently evolved technique in which graphite suspensions are poured onto hard, non-absorbent surfaces and worked with a graphite stick, removing the need for colour and for an imagery suited by colour. Instead, the emphasis has shifted to 'the seductive surface', whose interest for the artist has philosophical and existential, as well as aesthetic considerations. The beauties, lifestyles and philosophies encountered on successive visits to India played an important part in crystallising this change of direction.
Imagery is arrived at differently in the graphites from Cook's paintings: it can be "played with, with less expectation and for far longer". Central to this work is an industrial-scale conduit pipe, pumping the energy which fuels the urge to change. Other elements of the image exist in the sphere of the potential, not totally resolved, such as the butterflies which symbolise a transient, constantly changing life form.