‘Standing Stones’ hints at Duffy’s ambition to summon images that might be ostensibly abstract but, by their form, confront one with an almost human presence. The ‘Standing Stones’ paintings were exhibited at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool in 2008. They formed part of Duffy’s ‘Monuments’ project, held at various venues across Liverpool during Liverpool ’08, European Capital of Culture.
As a group, the ‘Standing Stones’ paintings provide an overview of the later developments in Duffy’s work, exploring both commemorative and personal themes. The title ‘Standing Stones’ is a metaphor for humanity. It expresses Duffy’s long-term fascination with humankind’s legacy and the decisions made for good or evil by individuals, groups, societies and cultures.
The diptychs, ‘Somewhere between life and death we make decisions’, and ‘The Poem in the Rock’, are paintings in which he re-employs the vessel shape from his earlier works of the 1980s. The shape acts as a metaphor for the human torso, created with vibrant colours, and suggests a positive, optimistic sense of humanity. These works are among those of the highest attainment of Duffy’s experimentations with in oils on sheer hot pressed china clay board.
Solo exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, April to June 2008.