[When] I broke, when my parents broke with the Catholic Church and took me out of [Catholic school] because there was a big fight about them working seven days a week, I went to a state school and this was a traumatic shock for me. So I was moved from a world of ideas and a world that was quite delicate, where the children were quite delicate, into a world that was grey, hard, spiritually empty and very violent — the state school in other words. I can describe it to you in colour. One was black, white and red and the one I entered was grey and it was made of stone and it was very frightening to me and I think that’s when my … need to replace that sense of loss began.
Sean Scully, interview with Irving Sandler, February 1997, Sean Scully: Paintings (exhibition catalogue), Manchester: Manchester City Art Gallery, 1997, pp. 34–47 (p. 34).