Raft’s germination as a complete image came together after making a large Caspar David Friedrich inspired woodcut called Voyage North of a barge sailing out under a sky full of stars. (see 2012 Woodcuts) Before this, in 2010/11, I had included geodesic domes in a couple of paintings while I was trying to allude to a resurgence of the ‘back to the earth’ movement, as a grass roots counterpoint to a world in crisis with these volatile weather patterns we are experiencing due to climate change. I also saw Alex Hartley’s brilliant installation at Victoria Miro as an introduction to his moving island journey ‘Nowhereisland’, and I imagined someone at the helm of a hand build craft on a journey through a vast sea. The shelter on this floating platform is of course a kind of house which doubles up as a life-raft. And this theme of place, both imagined and real, is very significant in my work at the moment. And specifically, Raft is quite an autobiographical metaphor. Both as a painting warning of my fear of dystopia, where the sailor is trying to get back to something/someone he’s lost or sent on ahead, I see it also as a classic quest painting, like a road movie… It’s also a metaphor in a sense, for my journey through life, trying to steer as a father and as an artist. The selfish man (me as a painter) alone with his crappy little shelter.