Taking her inspiration from archaeological imagery, Kate Whiteford began incorporating symbols from ancient cultures into her work from around 1980. Fascinated by timeless symbols such as Roman urns and columns and Celtic and Pictish iconography, shapes such as the circle, spiral, and chevron lines seen in this painting, recur in her work. By taking signs from different ancient cultures, Whiteford removes their cultural references and explores their visual power, often using them on a large scale to increase their impact. Stripped to their essence, Whiteford questions whether the same shapes found in different cultures may essentially represent the same thing. For example, does the spiral always represent growth or life? Whiteford made a number of paintings and prints in red and green.