The painter might make the pilgrimage toward the perfect light for their work; but more often the struggle leads you down the path of cheap living and studio space in the parts of town most people don't want to live; Waterloo Promenade was one of these places where the council offered me a 4 story house for my son and myself. The Promenade where even the sun looked like a dirty light bulb casting a vampiric shadow of poverty.
A series of work started as pencil drawings as I sat looking at the sights from my front garden; I had the idea of depicting the street as though Lowry had drawn it whilst sniffing glue; I made dozens of pencil drawings which I soon grew despondent with, they just looked like bad Lowry's and so I gathered them up in a bin bag and threw them out of the back door into the the tall weeds growing there thinking the bin men would take them away.
A year or so later in a fit of home improvement I went to tackle the nettle jungle at the back of the house and rediscovered the drawings still intact inside the plastic bin bag. Discarding them with the intent of destroying them and recovering them with a new insight gave them an added dimension; also the stains and deterioration they had picked up inside the rotting plastic bag added another aesthetic. We neglect and then regret the loss and saving something from the point of no return, all seemed to fit the Promenade; As Leornardo said art is never finished only abandoned. The bad Lowry's seemed a good representation of a street I had become all too familiar with by then; but now the street I saw in those drawings was a strange kind of self portrait.
The Promenade where the dandelions grow through the pavement and the blind men come and go from the blind centre, walking past the drunks, drug addicts and girls for sale. Life was made for wasting, time created for killing, a perfect place to paint.
Etching & Chine Colle
Oil on paper.A3.2000
Oil on canvas.130cmx200cm.2011