“It’s a foundation – for what de Kooning said, slipping into the glimpse; I remember as a kid going to this church that my mother used to clean. I’d bunk off school, play in the churchyard, fool around on the organ. The places of churches are peaceful, still. I carry that stillness with me and with that, an ability to really feel, see… observe… and from there, abstract…”
It’s actually the second time I’ve met Somerville; I’d discovered his painting three years ago when I had what I can only describe as a Whoa! moment on seeing one of his abstract paintings from the1990s New York series.
I remember being drawn in – in a most liquid sense – to the colour and rhythm – an almost existential moment, in the moment, when the presence of something created lives
beyond itself, beyond the moment of its creation. This is the power of art.
I bought the painting and contacted Somerville through academic art historian and author Eddie Chambers whose Dub Factor catalogue references Somerville’s work, along with among others, Frank Bowling and Chris Offili.
That independent life of a painting is a subject that David and I have discussed several times; the deepening energetic relationship you can have if you live with a painting. New York Series 1 is now hung on a large white wall opposite my bed, and I’ve joked with David (yes, one can joke about art) that I go to bed with him every night.