The Amsterdam a Dutch East Indiaman, set out her maiden voyage in 1748, and after one of the fiercest gales in recorded history, she sank off the coast near Hastings. At exceptionally low tides the timbers of the upper deck can be seen. In 1969 a party of workmen engaged in building a sewage outfall used their diggers to try and locate the boat. These paintings from a series of nine were made after the event from drawings and colour sketches in 1969.
The Genesis Triptych was painted by Richard Baines during the year 2000 when he was President of the Royal Institute of Oil painters. The idea of Adam and Eve inside the apple came to him while he was in hospital during February, was painted from March to December that year and it has been exhibited at various exhibitions in London and the provinces where it has caused comment and controversy. This triptych was presented to the church of St. Andrew in 2001 in recognition of the friendship and support recieved by the artist and his wife from the parish.
The idea for this BT Triptych came to me after lecturing to students at the National Gallery on the ecclesiastical triptych. I was in a telephone kiosk and there was a modern triptych staring at me. It caused comment when exhibited in London and the most frequently asked question was were the numbers genuine? They were and in reply I added that if my name was mentioned there would be a 10% discount. I am unaware if this offer was ever taken up! We offered it to Britsh Telecom for their collection of paintings but after viewing the work they decided it was not suitable.
Like most others I was much saddened by the death of Princess Diana and travelled to London to sign the book of condolences. I waited for six hours in a subdued queue until it was my turn to sign. I marvelled at the enormous display of flowers and heard the wind rustling through the cellophane wrappings. In this triptych I have tried to show the emptiness of Kensington Palace but the warmth of the floral tributes with the occasional balloon or message catching the eye.
We used to have an allotment in South West London. It was in an anormous complex of allotments tended mainly by the ladies of a certain age. On the way in to our patch we always passed a tall thin shed with some writing on it. One afternoon my wife asked me if I could find Ada as she needed the key. I approached one of the ladies and asked the whereabouts of Ada. She straightened up, cackling with amusement. Why did I want Ada she enquired? I responded that my wife wanted to borrow the key. At this she laughed even more loudly and through her hoots I deciphered that Ada had been dead for the last seven years and they had kept the shed in memory of her. Hence the title of this painting, dedicated to a lady we never met.
This was painted at the time of a very large march in London against the war in Iraq. I wanted to join the march but was prevented through illness and so painted this instead. The banners with WMD in blue refer to the Weapons of Mass Destruction which were never found and B. LIAR needs no explanation. 'Not in My Name' was on several of the placards.
Early in January the snow settled quietly on the Firehills at Fairlight and this was the signal for eager villagers of all ages to rush to see and enjoy the changed landscape. Adults and children combined to make an enormous snowman that grew and grew and when completed was surely the biggest snowman in the world! Our loyal and affectionate quadruped Jack achieved his ambition of at last being in a painting - that is him on the right, anxiously wating for a snowball to be thrown in his direction.
This splendid Victorian Pier designed by Eugenius Birch was opened in 1872. A pavilion at the seaward end could seat 2000 people. During the 1930's the pier was extremely popular and was a major attraction of the town. At this time it received a fashionable Art Deco facelift. It was bombed during World War II and then reopened in 1946. In the 1960's it became popular as a music venue for such groups as The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Tom Jones and Pink Floyd.
In the early hours of 5th October 2010, fire swept through the pier destroying an estimated 95% of the superstructure. On that night the heat from the fire was intense, sparks flew everywhere and the sea turned to blood. This was a major tragedy for Hastings and since then extraordinary efforts have been made to restore it to it's former glory.