Painted in the same year that Vaughan was awarded an Honorary Fellowship at the Royal College of Art, the present work tackles two subjects found in the artist's work at this date, 'The problem - my problem - is to find an image which renders the tactile physical presence of a human being without resorting to the classical techniques of anatomical paraphrase. To create a figure without any special identity (either of number or gender) which is unmistakably human: imaginative without being imaginary. Since it is impossible to conceive a human form apart from its environment, an image must be found which contains the simultaneous presence and interpenetration of each. Hence the close and closer interlocking bombardment of all the parts, like electrons in an accelerator, until the chance collision, felt rather than seen, when a new image is born.
... I would like to be able to paint a crowd - that abstract entity referred to by sociologists as the masses. An amorphous compressed lump of impermanent shape reacting as a mass to environmental stimuli yet composed of isolated human egos retaining their own separate incommunicable identities. In the past artists have usually dealt with the problem of crowds by turning them into assemblies. Assemblies are orderly rhythmic groups of individuals which act and are acted upon by mutual consent. The behaviour of an assembly is at least compatible with that of any member composing it and often surpasses him in achievement. The behaviour of a crowd follows its own laws and generates its own energy (see Keith Vaughan, Journal & drawings 1939-1965, London, 1966, pp. 199, 200.)