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
4th June 2022
Nail Bars have proliferated in the UK during the last 15 years having been previously virtually unknown. They are another example of the richness of multicultural diversity becoming absorbed as part of the high street parade. Nail Bars are often run by Eastern Europeans, Afro-Caribbean or Far Eastern immigrants who work long hours to make their small businesses pay their way and are much appreciated by all who enter their premises.
It was just my luck, that while painting that Nail Bar, the shop changed its decor from a green to a very pale pinkish white. I made the decision to stay with the former as this was the initial attraction that drew me to depict the scene, even though the green is so untypical to the concept of beauty pampering. Further to this, I began to muse while I painted, on the recent proliferation of these establishments and their social context, especially at a time when many women are seeking to establish themselves in occupations that make the false nails that are often attached during sessions and their decoration, very impractical.
On reflection however, this could be a demonstration of the wider field of employment available to women in contemporary society and the choices they have.
Looking into a brightly lit interior on a cold, wet night attracted my attention. Outside, looking in at night time, is a subject that has been a focal point in my work since the late 1970’s and it has always been a tussle to resolve the stark contrast between an oasis of light and warmth surrounded by dark shadows.
I am not a fan of ‘pampering parlours’ myself, but have to confess that once a year I frequent a Nail Bar in order to have my toe nails manicured and polished in preparation for the delights of being barefoot in the summer heat. What was once a sign of wealth and privilege has become a fashion open to all.