The excitement for me as an artist lies not in exploring the unknown but in how I can effectively organise a visual arrangement that reflects the atmosphere and intensity of an environment, evoking a precise moment of the day under specific light and conditions. I hope you enjoy the work

Feature of the week  08/12/2017

  

The Condemned House

The Condemned House     1985

  
In 1983 I moved to just around the corner from this house. At the time the whole area was scheduled for demolition to make way for green parkland encouraged by the County of London Plan, adopted by the Greater London Council and described poignantly in Fiona Atkin’s book ‘Lost Times’. The aim was to 'refresh' London's housing stock of poorly maintained terraces and improve sanitary conditions although it is now questionable as to whether this was the right means, given that so much of the character and the familiar had to be obliterated in order to achieve these objectives.
  
Happily the house I moved into survived but 'The Condemned House' became one of the last victims to the bulldozers in 1988. For five years the street lamp outside was lit continuously day and night. No-one lived there any more having being evicted, so no-one complained to the council. 


 

The tree next to it, apparently a rare, exotic species I no longer remember the name of, was felled during the hurricane of October 16, 1987. Sad though it is to think of past occupants lovingly nurturing this tree, it would have been unlikely to survive the great swathe of demolition that was taking place, so in retrospect, nature provided a kinder fate than technology.

A story persists that this painting is of the actual house from which Rachel Whiteread made her cast in 1993,  entitled simply, House. However, this is not the case and as far as I know Rachel has never seen this painting nor the house that I depicted, although both houses stood no more than a mile from each other and were demolished for the same project. Sorry if I have shattered a rather endearing urban myth!

The site of the Condemned House in 2016

Photo by Alex Pink