Acrylic on japanese endpaper. 800 x 210mm (2009)
This work marks a small detour from Michael’s normal line of work. He was drawn to the japanese end papers (hand-printed patterned papers that are used in bookbinding to finish the inside cover of hardback books) as beautiful objects. His natural response was to deface or otherwise interrupt the surface. To interfere with something that would be considered beautiful in a traditional sense, but adding something ugly and/or violent.
Continuing with religious theme that peppers Michael’s work there is a clear attempt at reflecting the violence in the story of Gethsemane from the Bible; Christ’s tortured wrestling with his Father in prayer in beautiful yet peaceful surroundings is interrupted by armed guards coming to forcibly remove him, this painting also forms an uncannily prescient depiction of the events that would take place in the various moments of civil unrest that have occurred in recent years in the UK.
This work is currently in a private collection.