Several books on the philosophy of free will informed my work but primarily Baggini’s ‘Freedom Regained’ and Watson’s ‘Free Will’. Other philosophical works referenced during this project can be found in the Bibliography.
The genesis for my approach to this project came from three sources. The first was the introduction to experimentation that I learned on my previous project in the Fashion and Textiles (F&T) pathway. Only through the techniques and approaches I learned there could I have hoped to engage with a largely abstract philosophical topic in an artistic way.
The second was the realisation that figurative art did not have to be perfectly representational. Although I knew this rationally in that most of the artists that I liked produced this sort of work, it had not taken root as something I could do. That realisation came when I attended the Ken Kiff exhibition in London: the paintings on display, and others I subsequently sought out in books, had a palette and an approach to figuration which chimed with the way I saw the world.
Finally, I had started to produce some quick A5-size sketches using, as a prompt, quirky phrases that I had heard or read which piqued my interest. I had done these in black ink with a parallel pen and coloured them with water-soluble Inktense pencils. On posting them to Instagram and putting prints of them up in my workspace, I received critically favourable comments from artists, fellow students and tutors leading me to realise that I had found an approach that worked for me.
One other key influence that I must mention is Hyman’s book, ‘The World New Made’ which I read from cover to cover, bought for myself and then reread. This book showed a vast range of approaches to figurative painting and afforded a critical endorsement to the work I believed it possible to make.
 Kiff, Ken. Man Painting. 15 June – 12 July 2019, Turps Gallery, London.