Mel Gooding notes that 'Hoyland embarked upon the "circle paintings" in 1983 in the spirit of an adventurer, and with a sense of extreme risk. Those paintings are like the reports from deep space of a solitary astronaut concerning his encounters with strange and unanticipated worlds, improbable planets. Each one reminds us of something seen, something known; each one seems utterly strange and without a precedence in our experience ... Hoyland was keenly aware of the history of the circle, as image and symbol, aware of its archetypal resonances; the problem was how to make it new, how to take an ancient sign and re-make its significances. Where others had made it empty, a cosmic symbol of an absolute perfection, he made of it an image of abundance, a container of the multifarious, the variegated and the heterogeneous' (see M. Gooding, John Hoyland, London, 1990, pp. 20-21).