Friday, May 29, 2009

Well Hall road

So, I am in the middle of about 3 or 4 paintings. I like to work on them in Tandem. I have, as mentioned moved into oils. I realise they are my obsessions, I drift off to them when I am not with them, staring and scrutinising. worrying.Like love I guess with hopefully a fair amount of joy thrown in!
Ayeslbury estate part II ( pictured) is the second in a survival series examining the Ayelsbury estate, one of the more notorious in South east london, described as Hell's Waiting room and soon to be demolished. I recently went to the Courbusier exhibition, he, who was a pioneer of the type of social housing that inspired the Ayeslbury and subsequent housing estates. A dream of utopia and making buildings that reach up to heaven fell into dsytopia with neglect, crime and segregation of social classes, creating a ghetto.
I am trying to be freer with paint, not so literal, loosening my technique. My work can balance in style between realism and naivety, overperfection....lets muck it up a bit was a suggestion from MA. so I am trying. Using oils helps as it means I am already unbalanced from my normal practise.
Also, I generally use embroidery in parts of my work, its fragility and seductive nature enhances the juxtaposition between manmade and organic, the neglected or desolate buildings and the meticulous nature of the stitching.But, I am trying without it, to see what that shall mean to mywork, what I could do differently. In contrast I am working on a small piece that is almost entirely stitched.

Odeon, Well hall Road is large, very large for me- twice the size that I usually paint. It is in Eltham, a dilapidated art deco cinema opposite where Stephen Lawrence was murdered ( I have painted the Stephen Lawrence centre in the past) Two good reasons to paint it as a place of social commentary and history.

Another reason came by surprise; a facebook page set up petitioning against a proposal for the cinema being turned into an Islamic centre, a xenophobic, rascist rant of a page ......a very dismal page and evidence of a section of society that seems unchanged by the tragic case of Stephen Lawrence.

I uploaded work in progress photos and used photoshop to try out a few ideas. Using the heavily patterned background I cannot always try out ideas directly onto the fabric and was surprised at how effectively I could use photoshop to play with composition. Of course I use a sketchpad too, but this was pretty fun. both attached.

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