Optical Art

Pure “Op Art” - like the first two yellow and brown flicker-grid paintings below - interacts only with the retina and is void of narrative. Indeed, it aims to challenge the viewer by removing all possible responses except the response of the non-thinking visual cortex. Everybody with a working retina will “get” Op Art:- the flicker-grids will flicker for all ages, and all cultures - and perhaps other species: dogs and cats may also experience the same flicker! The best-known British exponent of this purity of approach is Bridget Riley. The Op Art I have made, however, is usually more like Jeremy Moon’s wittier, hard-edged abstracts from the nineteen sixties. My pictures oblige the mind (in addition to the retina) to play around with the relations between colour fields, and to make decisions “one way or another” about the sidedness or the relative importance of what is being seen. Thus you experience the mind making itself up, as it were, via decisions about foreground/background, space/solidity. The flat design of the paintings is everything: the mind should be precisely equally invited to read each apparent foreground (of carved solidity) as a background (space) and each background as a foreground. The paintings should make you teeter precariously between two equally valid options, but with each option constituting only half, as it were, “of the picture”. (Note that it is absolutely impossible to experience the two versions of the same picture simultaneously). I think of these pictures as “philosophical machines” because they act, like a machine, over and again, in the exact same way, begging the same (unanswerable)questions about experience.

colour flashing grid (citrus yellow)

colour flashing grid (red-brown)


reversible hard-edge abstract No 1

Is this a lattice or shrapnel?

Is this a lattice or sharpnel?

side-swoppable abstract No.1

side-swoppable abstract No.2

grenadier (side-swoppable) abstract


field of tulips at sunset

bead curtain in rainbow colours

sunset through a window at Highclere

sunset through a window at Highclere

side-swoppable abstract No 4

Cut-out No.1

Just Colour No 2

Just colour No 1

side-swoppable abstract No 3


colour grid

Design for fabric No 1

Rugby Football

artist with some optical and abstract paintings

side-swoppable abstract No 6

side-swoppable abstract No 7


sketch for a painting

computer art 2

computer art 1

computer art 3

“You are a very good hard-edge abstract painter, and I should know.” - Mrs Moon (mother of Jeremy) at an exhibition of my pictures in Manchester.