Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Oh to be working for Heals in the fifties..

Occasionally my thoughts turn to 'fantasy house', it's a bit like lottery daydreaming and involves fantasising about how I would decorate and make objects for the dream house that I don't own. Sometimes it's a rural pile in North Yorkshire, sometimes a 1950s built apartment in the city (maybe Paris?). 
I think there is a part of me that's a frustrated textiles designer as often in my daydreams I'm screenprinting onto huge swathes of fabric to hang from my (obviously massive) fantasy windows. January's etchings seem to echo some of my frustrations and remind me very much of some of my favourite interior patterns. I love the work of Lucienne Day, particularly her 1950s designs for interior retailer Heals. Man I'd love her job..

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Georgian Salford

A new year, a new post (I vow to post more before the start of 2010!). In recent weeks I've been working on a series of etchings that depict the last remaining Georgian neighbourhood in Salford. It's a shockingly beautiful urban area located behind the famous St Philips church where just a few very grand terraces remain. The image above was created from a viewpoint in the fabulously shabby University of Salford car park lending I think a little grunge to the scene.       This work was created in response to a commission request from a young couple who live in a particularly lovely one of the terraces. They were very interested in the work of L.S. Lowry, who of course was a Salford lad and was famed for his depictions of the gritty lives of this city's residents. The process of creating the 5 pieces in this series was quite revealing in that I discovered how much specific subject matter can dictate a style. You assume that an artist has his or her own 'signature' contained within the marks they make, but in the process of making these etchings I found that by working directly and honestly in figurative landscape observation the 'Lowry' look just appeared, especially at the initial 'proof' stage before the tonal aquatint was added to the linear base. This was exciting as I can still see my own 'signature' but feel that I've absorbed a bit of Salford's history somehow.