Altered Laughter


Iím a bit weird and view my mind in an abstract way. Itís ever-changing shades and shapes and there are no straight lines, corners or edges. Colours are terracottas, pinks and ambers and shapes are bubbly and sponge-like. Itís like a big sloppy sherry trifle. When I listen to music or walk in the countryside warm Ambrosian cream sluices down through my brain and suffuses all it touches. When I see cruelty or horridness colours darken, shapes contract and matter hardens.

Over the years the general hue has darkened as people have died; some aunties and uncles have gone. Itís as though a slow-moving shadow is moving across my mindscape and I know it won't glow with such luminous innocence again. I'm a happy lad and the insides are bright and flecked with flickering magic but there's less air and light somehow; the contrast has been turned down.

After my mum died I thought I wouldn't laugh again but I did (even at the do at the golf club after the service) but it was altered laughter with reduced capacity. With her gone I knew nothing would be as sweetly funny again. I see laughter as a rainbow. If you walk passed a nursery when the kids are in the playground you hear squealing laughter that's at the apex of the rainbow. In your teens you're into the medium colours as you're affected by self-awareness and in adulthood you're getting into the darker colours as you're battered by realities. This abstract painting shows the area of my mind associated with this. In the centre you'll see two squares: the first one's a lighter shade and this represents its condition before losses. The smoked one represents things now that I've lived a bit and some compartments of my mind have been burnt out.


There're plenty of perky colours framing the squares which represent the majority of my mind. I'm still about 12 years old inside - optimistic, a bit slow to get the joke, bit of a day-dreamer, a bit dopey, naive, still thinking MI5 will call me any day now to be a spy/assassin, still thinking an unseen paranormal world buzzes like radio waves all around us, still thinking that when I take up metal-detecting I'll find a gold chariot within a month, still thinking tomorrow is heavy with the promises of brill things to come. I said I was naive didn't I?


I did this painting watching television in about an hour. Alfie wouldn't even look at it but you could: you could hang it on your lounge wall and on good days actually turn it over so it faces the room. It's yours for £4,866. Itís a strange one isnít it? I told you I was weird.