Cinema was enormously important to Michael’s work. As a child he had seen films at the local cinema in Portswood, Southampton, initially with his mum and grandma, then later with a bunch of friends. As a painter, he loved to look through a camera viewfinder at a potential subject for a painting; the framing makes subtle changes to the brain’s perception of what the eye sees. Study for The Third Man was one of several works that were inspired by movie stills. At the time he was teaching painting and a friend, who was the departmental IT technician, had a new toy – one that could freeze-frame a film on a computer screen in a way that allowed intense scrutiny, rather than a blurred image. Now, we all do this at the flick of a button but 20 years ago, it was less readily available. The Third Man is a black and white film, directed by the great Carol Reed in 1949 and starring Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles. The scene captured here features the villains who are at the theatre in Vienna discussing their nefarious plans. Robert Krasker’s sharp cinematography made a deep impression on Michael’s imagination and, as is common with b/w films, it’s surprising how many colours you think there are on the screen.