An enquiry into warranting what counts as painting is central to James Cousins' practice. Via a compounded layering of process and procedure: deliberate declarations of paint, support and surface, elaborate systematised patterns and unmediated spontaneous acts, Cousins' works simultaneously expose and mask the trail of decisions central to their creation. Assembled contradictions and reversals converge in an affecting space that segues from the recognisable to the intangible. The culmination of layer and process creates systems blurring abstraction and figuration. Intertwined and coexistent tensions arise between the original form and the surface, creating and defining a context of suspended meaning. Space in the works operates as a condensed expression of thought conveyed as a tangible element.