The title refers to the Greek 4th century philosopher Diogenes. Certain details of his attire are used as iconographical attributes for evidence to secure an idea of the character, enough hopefully, that the work could be loosely identified without a title attached. Primarily, the character is a vehicle to explore ideas around the paradox of vulnerability and strength within the context of other elements depicted on the vessel. Diogenes, has many varied associations some of them very contradictory, one of which is his choice to sleep in a ceramic jar or tub, 'pithos'. I am reminded of this in that this is a representation of him painted onto a ceramic vessel albeit a closed decorative vessel. One story I have heard is that this 'tub' was also his bath, that he travelled around with and slept in as part of his very few possessions. So in keeping in tradition of continuing to bend the myth he is here depicted travelling with his bath tub, in this case one made of some sort of metal, somewhat extravagant perhaps and which in itself is contrary to the very philosophy by which he lived. Ironically, however, this perhaps is what is at at the heart of his practical philosophical approach, ( suggested by Foucault and Peter Sloterdijk). The character and philosophy of Diogenes is made up of varied anecdotes and stories about his life, each pointing to his philosophy through example rather than theory, (he was famously critical of Plato's attitudes in this respect). In order to critique society, or at least to make visible the 'invisible' vanities and corruption that he perceived within the society in which he lived, he would present himself to the contemporary world contrary to the prescribed values of society and the existing social paradigms. This he attempted to do through his dress and demeanour, with himself as the subject, exposing the absurdity that he perceived in the world of human beings. An idea, perhaps not so dissimilar to the early Dadaists, who in 1917 aghast at the insanity of mass mayhem of industrialised warfare and effectively impotent to do anything about it, demonstrated more by example than academic treatise or theory, through the theatre of the absurd and Dadaist manifesto, the contrariness to everything they felt culturally justified such wonton destruction of life. The title of the vessel represents a strange meeting of these ideas, a partly nostalgic look at a very unique bar in soho, Hanway street that has become legendary over many years, so named 'Troy' because of a wonderful patron called called Helen who was well known for her hospitality. In fact, the Troy was a place where people felt welcome to drop their normal persona and relax into whatever the night moulded them into. People were attracted to the hospitality and lively discursive atmosphere. Discussions would carry over various areas of philosophy, politics and the wine would flow freely. What was exceptional about this place was the atmosphere; an intimate and eclectic mix of people. It attracted many artists, students but also others from all over the world and different parts of society and many who seemed (like Diogenes) to not really 'belong' anywhere. My impression was occasionally concern for people I met but also an admiration and courage, as many were people escaping conflict, of various kinds. Everyone had their individual stories. However, it was a safe, egalitarian, secret mix of people with a feeling of shared vulnerable humanity mixed with enormous courage born of hard won experience in a world not particularly sympathetic to nonconformists or nomads. The atmosphere was often akin to images of George Grosz or Hearfield and the Weimar republic or early Dada anarchy mixed with the Catalan bars in Barcelona before the Olympics in the early nineties. There are individuals whom I imagine have never left the street, seem to inhabit Hanway street eternally. Sandwiched and hidden away, snaking between Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road, with its own distinctive unique character cut off from the rest of Soho. It (still) reminds me of a kind of island village set amidst the chaos of central London, . Many of the 'secret' basement bars have been closed in Hanway street, but the Flamenco continues in the Spanish bar beneath the Troy, both of which still exists. The painting is made on the raw clay body with cobalt and iron based underglaze while it is bone dry and then fired once to stoneware temperatures. I am very conscious in all these works of the role the 'vessel' plays in creating a context for how the works can be viewed and the range of ways the viewer can interact with the object and imagery. For this reason I use a range of semiotic methods to organise composition and social details. I am very conscious of how the different figurative elements are juxtaposed and how the viewer engages with these elements. The work is also influenced by a variety of traditions of ceramic painting but also painting techniques from 16 and 17th century oils; working in layers for example, the figure of Diogenes has been built up using layering techniques and using the white ground as effectively a trompe l'oeil support, (similar also to works of Meissen ceramics). Not least Archaic Greek Attic ware, is very important to me with incision black figure techniques, which is why I work on the raw porcelain greenware and not bisque.