Paintings in Portugal started with paintings done in 1998 of Alentejo megalithic monuments. From 1999 to 2001, using scenes based in the Alentejo and the Algarve, the style gets progressively more abstract. This leads to the painting entitled "Casa Oriental" and the introduction of the use of Chinese newspaper as collage. From this came the abstract group of paintings "Chang?an" "Chang?an" means "great peace". The splendid new capital of southwest China, built in 582 by the Sui dynasty, Chang?an was totaly destroyed by war in 904. Using old Chinese newspapers, in collage, I produced four paintings based on this ancient city. Then I turned to the subject of other destroyed historical cities.. History is - "little more than the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind" Edward Gibbon - 1776 - (The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire) The continuation of this process resulted in a large series of paintings based on ancient civilisations. This work extracts colour and form from place, with a single repeated icon or object type appearing within each piece of work within the subject group. The majority of the work was completed in 2002 and the theme was finally phased out in 2005.
Biography: The introduction to art for Alfora was the discovery of J M W Turner in the Tate gallery, in 1969. Influenced by the study of light, of which Turner was the master, the work of Alfora is complimented by a palette based on the colours used by Rembrandt, Delacroix and Bonnington. Brought into this, through studies based on derelict buildings and a continuing interest in architectural structures, is the depiction of line and structure of buildings within a field of colour. The breaking of the boundaries came with the discovery of the work of Raul Duffy and John Piper which, for Alfora, brought brighter colour through which the subject takes on a translucence allowing the viewer freedom of interpretation. The quintessence then is a personal style using colour, light and line to express the essence of place. This style, developed through subject matter in England and France, was further explored through travels in Portugal particularly the Alentejo and the Algarve. The move from semi-representational landscape to abstract symbolism was a natural one. The majority of the paintings of Alfora have a historical content. The scenes of Portugal, from 1998 to 2002, are based on places of historical interest and often painted in an abstract style yet containing symbolic representation. The later work used this concept to symbolically represent ancient historical places in an abstract manner. From this developed the more abstract work of the last few years which forms the bulk of recent exhibitions. The use of paint and collage produces a vibrancy of colour and form which relates to the imagery and culture of the places which inspired the work. Alfora studied art at Staffordshire University with further studies to masters level at Wolverhampton and Manchester Metropolitan University. He taught art and design at local colleges and communication studies/business studies at Staffordshire University. Exhibitions in the UK have included prestigious locations such as Manchester Academy, The Royal West of England Academy, Royal Festival Hall and The Barbican in London as well as with The Printmakers Council. He was a founder member of the artist group “Blank Canvas”, a self-help group of painters who were active in art events throughout the Algarve from 2001 to 2007, and participated in regular exhibitions in the Algarve and other places. He has also had a number of individual shows since moving to Portugal but since the demise of the group has concentrated on promoting his art through the internet and pursuing new directions.
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