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I graduated from Goldsmiths College in 1985, where I was introduced to Avebury and megalithic Wessex, circa 1983. Avebury had a profound effect on me when I first encountered it, but it would be many years before I felt able to translate my impressions into oil paint. Neolithic Avebury is so relatively vast, it cannot even be seen all at once - unlikeits better known sister monument some 20 miles/32km to the south: Stonehenge - the totality of Avebury can only normally be experienced on the move. And even this is an over-simplification: Avebury is sacred landscape which radiates out as far as the eye can see, in all directions, encompassing undulant downs, earthen barrows, megalithic avenues, sacred springs and Silbury Hill, the tallest made landscape sculpture in Europe. For many years-parallel to my enthusiasm for the remote past -I experimented with altered viewpoints in drawings and with photography, using multiple exposures to explore formal compositions. It was this unrelated experimentation which led me starting to randomly structure pictures, working on more than one view at the same time, in single compositions. It wasn't until I applied this synchronistic method of working, to the megalithic landscape of Avebury, that I first received the impression I could at last begin to articulate what I felt about this site, in terms of art. Working with chance interaction, and on different aspects of the ancient ritual complex simultaneously, allowed me to align directly observed facets of this monumental, symbolic zone with material from museum collections, local lore, personal research and reading: authors such as Terence Meaden and Julie Wakefield. The paintings themselves are generally structured around the eight stations of the Pagan year, drawing on an immemorial, pervasive heritage of seasonal change and observance which revolved around the - for the most part - unworked, weathered, massive, enigmatic, animistically charismatic sarsen stones of the Great Circle. In addition to creating art, I have also written about the local Kennet River and made a short experimental film on the theme of Avebury. I personally believe that the Neolithic in Britain was part of a much wider cultural context, an idea I intend to explore in my work. The paintings are conceived of as a cycle. There is no way of knowing when the series will achieve full circle. Thank you. Rick Kemp.

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