I started to incorporate texts in my paintings in 1989. I have been interested in calligraphy since my early teens, when I attempted to copy pages from the Lindisfarne Gospels, and other illuminated manuscripts dating from the middle ages.

I usually start a painting in the form of a Diary, then I may write down something I have read that interests me. This produces a tendency towards a subject, which I may well develop. I use Latin texts because I consider Latin to be the language most suited to our alphabet. After all our alphabet arose with Latin.

I find the 'goings-on' in the Roman Empire fascinating and very relevant to the present time… Not only the high politics that we are familiar with from history books but the other side to their lives, their business deals and their scandals as expressed by the poets Catullus, Martial and Juvenal, who can at times make punk poetry read like Beatrix Potter.

If something important happens in my life I will make a reference to it in my paintings, but often nothing important happens then I resort to the mundane. In the mundane I hope to cross bridges… After all, we all run out of sugar sometimes.

I have included references to the world stock markets as the material quality of our lives seem to be contingent on them - even if we don't like it.

I would not like to be a novelist because a novelist starts to live his or her life for the next book. I merely incorporate my life within my painting. Thus it becomes no 'big deal'. Texts become overlaid, they become palimpsests – with layers of meaning.
A palimpsest is a manuscript page, whether from scroll or book that has been written on, scraped off, and used again. The word palimpsest comes through Latin from two Greek roots (palin + psEn) meaning "scraped again."
© 2007 Peter Moore