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  05/12/2020

Still Standing

In 2004, one of the last paintings I made before my ten year Sabbatical was that of Brothers’ Fish Shop, situated among a row of rather shabby shops strung along the Commercial Road. The shop was still operating, although they looked not long for this world.

 

When I took up painting the East End again in 2016, I was astonished to see this row of shops still standing, though long since boarded up and waiting for the grim reaper in the form of the bull-dozer. The range of blues created by the clear autumn sky struck my eyes, as well as the boards hammered in to the windows, seemingly to defend the interiors from marauders and squatters. I made two small paintings of the Emporium and the Pharmacy, omitting the Commercial Cars taxi office. This was because the black Tudor beams on the upper storeys clashed with the colour palette I was employing in those paintings.

 

Three years later in 2019 I heard that the shops had finally ‘bitten the dust’ but that the Taxi Cab Office was still standing. A visit on a sunny afternoon in March confirmed this. Maybe the building work had been halted because the black beams that I had found aesthetically unappealing for my composition turned out to be historically important or perhaps the occupants had refused to relocate. Whatever the reason, an interesting opportunity for a composition had occurred and after this discovery I had to make a record of this ‘spanner in the works’ causing so much grief to the developers. As I write I believe it is still standing today and forms the title of my latest exhibition… Still Standing, at the TownHouse, Spitalfields.