This woodcut was made in response to reading Po Chi-i's moving account of living the simple life in a pavilion on the slopes of Mt Lu, written over 1,100 years ago; and seeing Ogata Korin's sumptuous Red and White Plum Tree folding screen painting, c 1712. The studio in this image, set on an island overlooking a city on the other side of the water, is both an idealization of a cabin retreat set in the wilderness, and acts as a positive metaphor for an existence lived on the edge of society. From such a vantage point, looking in on the world from the outside, this picture is quite a personal account of the position I find myself in; being a somewhat detached observer as artist as well as attempting to keep a family together in the process.
The pavilion at the top right of the triptych at the head of the waterfall was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's seminal house Fallingwater. The see-through pavilion in the centre panel of the triptych has it's source in Mies Van Der Rohe's Farnsworth House, a quintessentially perfectly imagined retreat for this artist with it's roots in imagining a more corporeal life lived in amongst nature.
Compositionally there is a play with the circle of life tallying up with the way artists watch the world go by. The energy of the waterfall shifts into a stream, river and then feeds the ocean, while the world continues its bustle away from the island observers in the direction of the containership, taking the viewer round the island in a vast clockwork circle - TH