"The Ingleborough Series" was such a sustained and successful body of work that it was not easy to follow. During 2000 a new approach emerged, one that used the figure as a source, a big departure for the artist. The seeds of this were sown in the later Ingleborough works (particularly "At Rest" - December's painting) which began to move away from vertical structuring towards curled up forms within relatively hazy, indefinite contexts.
At the beginning of 2000 the artist photographed many sheepholes across the Yorkshire Dales. These were originally built into drystone walls to allow sheep to move between fields, but now are mostly blocked or partially blocked, providing a rigid structural form which surrounds a more chaotic bouldery mass. As a means towards image making this didn't work, the forms within the structure were either not particularly interesting or couldn't be imbued with meaning without radical alteration.
There was a greater need to refer to a figurative form and after reaching an impasse with the sheepholes idea the time was right to go to the figure direct. A number of life drawings later and the work began. In many of the paintings much of the figure has been lost, in some, such as "Golden Tryst" it has disappeared but in all cases the figure has determined much of the development of the image.