East London: Why this new collection is so close to my heart

 

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A few months ago I was invited to make a new series of paintings for East London’s TRADE café, E1.

The café has been open only a short while and is already one of Commercial Street’s most popular cafés, loved by both locals and tourists. Therefore I was very keen on the idea of a collaboration with TRADE!

It was decided that the work exhibited would be my interpretation of East London as it is today, in contrast to the way it was before its regeneration. I decided to spend some time wondering around the area and drawing the buildings that caught my attention.

In doing this I really experienced East London in a completely new way. On a normal day I’m cycling around on my bike getting form A to B, not really noticing the buildings around me but this time I was really looking closely at the architecture taking the time to stop and look at the wonderful shapes and colours that could be found hidden within the buildings. In fact, I was quite shocked at some of the beautiful buildings that are around that I have never noticed before.

The main reason why this project is close to my heart is because my Great Grandparents used to own a shop on Commercial Street all those years ago. In fact when I was a child I used to hear stories of the old East London and how my grandparents would do any thing they could to get away, moving to North London, escaping the dark dreary streets of the East End. It is strange that I am here all these years later drawing the buildings that used to belong to my great Grandparents. The shop which they used to sell their textiles from, struggling for every penny is now a trendy hairdressers. It all seamed a bit surreal. 

 

The paintings of Fournier Street are very special to me because that’s where great grandparents actually lived, on that very street.

The East London I know now, with its cafés, bars and yoga studios on every corner is not the same dark grotty East London that my Grandparents knew!

If you are in the area drop into my exhibition at TRADE, which is running from 6th April – 31st May 2015. For more info click here.

 

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