I rented a small room in the centre of my brother's house as a studio. The room was so narrow, I could paint only one large work at a time in it. My brother, a house-painter, tried to show me how to use enamel. As usual I was impatient and only half-listened. I wrecked the first few canvases by not letting each coat dry properly. The heavy paint slid like mud down the surface, trailing gelatinous, lumpy streaks. As it dried, it puckered into deep wrinkles. I called the paint manufacturer's technical department. They gave me the same advice my brother had.When the work was finished, there was no space to step back and look at it properly, let alone photograph it. I bought an instant camera and filled every frame of 35mm colour negative film with close-ups. I pressed myself against the wall opposite the painting then, beginning at the top left-hand corner, I photographed it in sections. Snapping a shot, taking a step right, snapping a shot again, shuffling left and starting again, crouching a little lower – I repeated this process until I reached the bottom left-hand corner of the three-metre wide frame.
The next morning, I picked up the 6” x 4” prints from a local two-hour processing kiosk. Sitting in a café, I arranged the disparate prints, overlapping and skewing each like a glossy piece of a mosaic, in order to assemble a coherent image. Using Sellotape, I stuck the pieces together as best I could. It looked terrible but at least it showed the painting in full.I took the picture to the owner of the hall in which I wanted to hang my first exhibition. He grimaced and sighed as I entered the space and strode up to his desk. I laid the taped-together photographs on the table before he could refuse to look at them. So he looked – and he smiled.