Michael Woods 1995
George Melly 1998
George Melly 2004
Martin Sexton 2007
Ana Balona de Oliveira 2008
José L. Terrón Ponce 2012
Flora Alexandra Ogilvy 2015

Speculations on Speculation:
Flora Alexandra Ogilvy Questions
& Piers Jackson Answers

I admire its ambiguity, but could you elaborate upon the title 'Speculation'?

I hadn't considered a title for this exhibition when I came across the word 'speculation' in a philosophical text. It immediately occurred to me as the right choice. I often experience a similar immediacy with titles for individual artworks. When a title occurs without deliberation it almost feels as if the artwork has named itself.
As you began working on this exhibition, were there any forays into your imagination, which led you down a certain path?

I had a couple of visions when I began this project. One was of a very large empty rectangle with two red ravens flying in unison in the top right corner. I tried but failed to materialise this. The other was of a white octahedron sculpture split open so that two adjoining faces lay flat on the horizontal plane. Its interior was gilded and out flew countless red ravens. This second vision was obviously a point of departure rather than a piece I hoped to make.
What is the significance of copper as a material of choice within the exhibition?

I love the intensity of copper and its rose-like hue. It works wonderfully with the bright red I've been using. Symbolically copper is associated with Venus.
Some people see violence in the colour red, but would you say that there's nothing but romance in its presence?

I see red as the colour of passion. I'm far more interested in romance than violence, yet it's difficult to look at red without being reminded of blood. It's a blinding colour to work with.
The octahedron is an idealised shape, but can a work of art ever be perfect in your eyes?

No, not perfect. A work of art can be complete, and that's surely good enough.
You are rather an enigma, but has there ever been an artist, which you would have liked to be compared to?

There are many artists with whom I'd feel flattered to be compared, yet none spring to mind.Alexander McQueen referred to you as 'the bird-man', do you allude to your fascination with birds in this collection of work?
I love birds. It was my maternal grandfather who taught me many of their names. I've considered using wrens, swans and herons in the past, yet a crow or raven usually serves my purpose. In this collection there are two geometric constellations, The Bird, and The Fan, both of which I now see as birds. One swoops, the other soars.
Have you encountered distinct phases of development as an artist?

Yes. I gave up figurative oil painting in my early twenties after a trip to New York, and began working with encaustic on glass. Then in my mid twenties George Melly lent me his copy of Nadja by Andre Breton. I was very impressed by this novel and began flirting with Surrealism. Towards the end of this phase I used a cube to describe a six-fold colour spectrum. I've been obsessed with three dimensional geometry ever since.You've experimented with relief work and photography, amongst other mediums, but would you consider your geometric compositions the most poignant thus far?
I'm not sure whether they're the most poignant, yet they're certainly the most relevant right now.

As illustrated by these works, you are not in possession of the traditional creative mind, have you ever received any scientific or mathematical training? My father had a scientific training. I was supposed to do the Art and History of Art degree at Goldsmiths but got distracted by my domestic situation. At around that time I had the good fortune of meeting the writer John Michell. I was very influenced by John's knowledge of esoteric science and number symbolism.Pythagoras said that, "Number is the law of the Universe and Unity is the law of God". How influential have mathematics been on your style as it has developed over the years?
It was always simple paintings which appealed to me as a very young artist. As my own style matured, I wished to leave as little of myself in the art as possible. Mathematics was very useful in regard to this. I love proportion and measurement, and suppose geometry has become my ultimate mask. Although the work I make involves mathematics at the composing stage, it doesn't require a mathematical mind to appreciate it. A circle is no more beautiful for knowing the relationship between its radius and circumference.You once told me that, "the beauty and order of the world imply a maker", would you say that there's a sense of spirituality in your work?
I believe that beauty and order imply the spirit, and they're certainly qualities I aspire to creatively. A compliment I sometimes receive from collectors is how peaceful my work makes them feel. Do you wish the audience to seek a sense of synchronicity within this exhibition?
I think Speculation works as a whole, and I'm pleased that it's showing in a space where all the work can be viewed in a single room. However there's no particular way in which I wish the work to be perceived. Does your work comment on contemporary society or simply contribute to it?
I doubt it comments on contemporary society yet I like the idea of it contributing. Many people believe that all art is motivated by love, so was this work inspired by or created for a muse? Love is probably the greatest motivator, and all the red and white work in this exhibition is inspired by a muse. For me, relationship with the muse is sacred, thoughts and feelings relating to who she is go very deep.
I see your work as elements of a constellation, were you intending to 'capture the stars'?
'Capture the stars' - that's a fabulous idea. I first painted all the constellations of the zodiac in my mid twenties. Soon afterwards I wanted to do some black stars, and that was the reason for the crows appearing. I now see all the geometric work as star-like too. It wasn't a conscious decision, just how things happened and where my vision led me. Have you looked back on any of your past works for inspiration with these pieces? No I haven't looked back. I look forward for inspiration, yet my work is cyclical so imagery tends to recur.

Speculation - Serena Morton Canalside (November 2015)