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Winner: Sir John Sulman Prize 2012

Nigel Milsom Judo house part 4 (golden mud)

oil on linen

This work is from an on-going series based around the loose idea of gambling, whether it be with one’s life, money, career or simply in the day-to-day decisions we all make.

The actual idea for this painting came to me after meeting an old man at my local bus stop who told me he travels into a city leagues club every Saturday to drink and bet on the horses with some old friends. His wife had died and he lived a very solitary life apart from his Saturday social engagements.

In the painting I’ve tried to capture a kind of social loneliness. The word STOW is a reference to the late Australian writer Randolph Stow who wrote about fear and paranoia and how emotions seem to grip small, isolated communities in his novel The suburbs of hell. His name seemed apt for this painting as it creates a sense of mystery.

Nigel Milsom, 2012