1985: Second Royal College application


I had been offered a place on The Royal College M.A. in painting like my hero Hockney in 1982 but Margaret Thatcher suspended grants for home students by half and I lost the place as my parents could not afford the £3K fees even then. So I didn’t go but I did try again in 1985 to no avail as I no longer had momentum and art college support (one of my Hornsey tutors and RC referee Trish Stainton a printmaker worked at the Royal College and helped me submit the first time).

These images were key to that application and have never been seen by anybody as far as I know. I was very disappointed. I think I was also disappointed by Chelsea and The Slade but I do not remember it hurting as much. I just shoved them away in a folder and never looked at them since until now virtually.

I felt then they were amongst my best and opened up a whole new range of possibilities. I was looking hard at contemporary post figuration and new abstraction in 1985 and had also fallen under the spell of Cy Twombly which evident in the handling of materials here.

So water under a very old bridge now but you know I still think these fairly large works on paper ( 36″ x 48″) some of my most spontaneous and lively work..there you go….

If I had got in I would only have become internationally famous and rich. I would have missed out on a decade of temporary work in banks, libraries and fencing…..one cannot have everything 🙂

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