The Random Art Generator is a process that selects a subject for painting by chance. From lists of 3000 possibilities, one is chosen using a toy bingo tombola, this selection is then painted and the process repeated indefinitely.

The RAG lists were compiled using no external form of reference; so every subject on the lists came from my memory. This makes the lists into an encyclopaedia of everything I can think of. Once an item is chosen, an image is acquired that is deemed to be an appropriate representation of the selection and the painting is made based on this image.

Over time, as the RAG paintings accumulate, the hope is that they will begin to shape a body of work formed from my personal knowledge, but untainted by my choice. Taken individually they are simple paintings of single, unrelated, subject matter; but collectively they begin to build into a type of inverted self-portrait, describing something about me by reflecting my impressions of the outside world, creating a pattern from the random elements of my knowledge and memory. This portrait perhaps says little about myself but through the refraction of my knowledge through chance, a different impression emerges: like a photo of a person’s shadow or one of those photo mosaics of Darth Vader made up of hundreds of different stills from Star Wars.


Title Random Art Generator
Year 2002 onwards
Materials Emulsion on MDF with wooden backing frame
Paintings Year Dimensions
The Herbs 2009 H:22cm W:30cm
Armbands 2007 H:22cm W:29.5cm
The Sound Of Music 2007 H:17cm W:36cm
Noddy 2006 H:20cm W:26cm
Darts 2006 H:20cm W:26cm
Braindead 2005 H:17.5cm W:25cm
Dustmite 2004 H:20cm W:34cm
Ice cream 2004 H:18cm W:13cm
Microwave 2004 H:14cm W:17cm
Cornflakes 2003 H:28cm W:20cm
Jean Michelle Basquiat 2003 H:15cm W:15cm
Christine Adams 2003 H:22cm W:22cm
Levis 2003 H:19cm W:37cm
Morris Dancers 2002 H:13cm W:22cm
Marbles 2002 H:21cm W:26cm
5 Pence Piece 2002 H:15cm W:15cm
Weetabix 2002 H:15cm W:15cm


  • RAG paintings were exhibited in the Exeter Phoenix in 2007 at the Phoenix Too in Exeter, UK.
  • RAG paintings were exhibited as part of Ariston (2007), curated by Candice Jacobs in association with NAB 07 at Moor St Station, Birmingham, UK.
  • RAG paintings were exhibited as part of the group exhibition Random Harvest (2006/07) at the Tricycle Gallery in Kilburn, London, UK, along with paintings by Roger Woodiwiss and Peter Wylie
  • The RAG handbook containing the complete lists of all 3000 possible subjects for painting can be downloaded as a PDF


Should I do anything worth emailing about, filling your details in below will greatly increase your chances of finding out about it.