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  16/06/2019

Bayswater Station

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It is difficult to imagine that Queensway, where Bayswater Underground is situated, was once home to the world’s largest department store- William Whiteley’s. This opened 1911 following a devastating fire in Westbourne Grove the original location of shop that, in its heyday employed 6000 workers and supplied all the needs for the occupants of the surrounding stuccoed mansions, providing everything from food to building materials.

 

When I arrived in Bayswater in 1976, both the department store and the stuccoed mansions had seen better days. A stream of sales throughout the year heralded its final collapse in 1981. The once elegant five storey mansions had been divided into flats or bedsits  home to a heady mixture of bohemians, working class white Londoners; Greeks and Arabs who opened restaurants in the 60s that are still popular today. Medium price hotels abound and accommodate tourists from all over the world who can often be seen wandering up and down the street dazed, having lost the way to their base located somewhere in the maze of streets behind the thoroughfare.

 

The road continues to have a febrile, nervous energy that is summed up perhaps by the presence of the Ice Rink near the tube station. It was and is immensely popular highlighting the importance of Bayswater station as a transit point. This contributes to the transient atmosphere and magic that I can conjure up even today when I visit friends nearby who, now that Gerald, my former husband, has gone remain as tenants of a large maisonette beneath an equally large maisonette that has remained empty since his death just over a year ago. Such is the wealth of the local landlords.