Four of these paintings are images of cities, seen map-like from the air. I began this work during the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. I painted these cities by creating neighbourhoods and folding the densely inhabited spaces around each other. I draw on my memory of old cities where I have been: courtyard gardens, riverbanks, bridges, and lanes; paradise gardens; and gardens found in Persian and Mughal paintings. Seven of the other paintings shown here are related in theme, but they have their beginnings in handwriting I found in old letters. The letters were written in 1926-1937, from China, under conditions of war and occupation. In these “letter paintings” my main interest is on the shapes of the words and the pen marks, quite apart from their meanings. The meanings, partly erased by time, describe scenes of destruction in Shanghai after a bombing in October 1937, a small courtyard seen through as window from the letter-writer’s desk, a landscape with snow and roses.