As a landscape artist, one of the main reasons for my personal interest in traditional Japanese culture centres on its close relationship between the visual arts, design and architecture with landscape and the natural world. Each time I visited Japan I saw buildings and artefacts which inspired me and have found their way directly or indirectly to my own work as an artist. In many ways my fascination with the visual culture of Japan is encapsulated in a single building: the Imperial Villa at Katsura, on the outskirts of Kyoto, which was built over a number of years in the 17th century. This building and the gardens that surround it seem to me to represent an ideal of spatial proportion, colour and texture, assembled with perfect judgement and spartan restraint. I began making work inspired by Katsura around 10 years ago, at the same time as researching its history and background; I also put together a large archive of my own photographs, made on location there, to use as reference material. At the time of writing (December 2013), I’ve produced a considerable body of work on this project  – drawings, paintings and collages – which I intend to exhibit here in London towards the end of 2014.

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