Putting the Breakes On


CRITIC: Quite a conventional scene, this seems at first. A
couple in a park, enjoying a moment of rest from cycling, in
the heat of the midday sun. Is there any more to it?
MRS EVERYMAN: It’s the bike that stands out for me. It’s not
natural, gives me the willies…..
PAINTER: You both make good points. Having visited my
local park and seen this couple, I wanted to capture a sense
of the ideal moment of love, transmitted through the idea of
the bicycle wheels as symbols and the shadows they make.
CRITIC: Certainly, the brightness of the colours represents
the zenith of the progress of the seasons and of the couple’s
feelings for each other. Is the upended bicycle a threat to
onward progress or an attempt to capture something
precious in time?
MRS EVERYMAN: They are wheels of fortune to me. And
they’ve stopped turning. I never did have any luck with that
PAINTER: Well, the hub of a wheel is normally the symbol of
stillness at the heart of a moving, turning world, but here the
whole world of movement has stopped and made room for
the couple to enjoy their feelings unpressured.
CRITIC: In that case the bicycle could also be seen as
representing obsolescence: it has been hung up as a
museum piece and will not play any further part in
propelling these people through the predictable patterns of
aging and life.
MRS EVERYMAN: Well, I don’t feel comfortable with any of it.
That cave in the background is grim looking and the shadows
of the bike wheels are…..mmm, a bit chilling.
PAINTER: Yes, there is a degree of ambivalence here. I
wanted the darker background area to suggest a cave with
dappled light effects, but it is nevertheless the background,
and therefore secondary in importance, just as in life there
are always hidden dangers. The landscape here is largely
harmonious with a sense of optimism, and there is an
idealism about stopping time at the optimum moment of
CRITIC: Certainly, one of your least ambiguous works, and
the symbolism is transparent through the dual symbols of
bicycle and stilled wheel.
MRS EVERYMAN: It might be sunny there, but once the wind
starts blowing again, those wheels will start turning. And
then there’s no knowing what might happen……

Year                                 2022
Materials                       Oil on canvas

Additional information

Dimensions Height 46 cm x Width 61 cm x Depth 2 cm.