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 21/10/2018
I have lived in London for 46 years and like many local inhabitants I have never learned to drive… much to the astonishment of my more rural friends. Throughout my life in the city I have used public transport on an almost daily basis… buses, tubes, trains and the DLR. London buses are my least favourite mode of transport as they can be unpredictable and often slow. As for the DLR, I can still remember the excitement of sitting on the front seat of the front carriage on one of the first trains to run on the line, travelling from Westferry to Shadwell in order to see a friend’s exhibition at Tobacco Dock. It was like being on a toy train travelling through Legoland.
A more recent delight has been my introduction to the London Overground Line at Wanstead Park Station, which runs from Barking to Gospel Oak, a very interesting journey demographically. For many years it was barely functioning due to the deteriorating state of the railway but more recently it has been updated and operates a somewhat reasonable service… although I think its' users feel the operators could still do a little better.
The station lies just around the corner from where I live and, standing up there high above Woodgrange Road waiting for a train is a visual pleasure. Rooftops, glimpses of interior lives and the back gardens of Little Chestnut Avenue can be spied on below and this view persists right along the line's route. If any foreign friends want to discover a true sense of what London and Londoners are about, don’t send them to Piccadilly or Tottenham Court Rd… just tell them to buy a ticket for the London Overground.
The drawing, which is a study for an oil painting, focuses on a late night return when I worked at Tower Hamlets College. I am lucky in that I have been able to travel fearlessly since my twenties at all times of day or night across London without once being threatened. This was brought home to me by the receptionist at my opticians recently when I telephoned to make an appointment. A bright, young cheery voice informed me that she would book me a special appointment early in the day as the nights are drawing in and I wouldn’t want to be out late at night would I?
Going Home is also about my return (coming home) to painting once more and stands as a memorial to the journeys home I no longer need make every night following exhausting and often-pointless meetings.
The drawing will be placed for sale on auction this coming Sunday, 21st October at The Wanstead Tap, Arch 352, Winchelsea Road, Forest Gate, E7 0AQ. This is to raise money in aid of the Newham Bookshop https://www.newhambooks.co.uk which finds itself having to move premises from 747 to 743 Barking Road. This also goes live at 8 pm on Sunday night, and will be at https://crowdfunder.co.uk/two-doors-down.
Most of the items on sale will be signed copies of books by well-known authors and you can also enjoy a free glass of wine courtesy of Wanstead Tap, so if you live in the vicinity, please come and support this excellent bookshop to continue its own journey with its long and successful history, a much loved and needed service in a borough not always noted for its interest in the arts and culture!