I have recently been working on a series of oil paintings of my local environment.
My landscapes explore the suburban (semi-rural) area where I grew up and still live. They feature places that are often overlooked or ignored. Not quite ‘cityscape urban’ and not ‘Garden of England’ pretty – often a supposedly unremarkable middle ground. But they are places I feel a strong connection to and are an everyday source of inspiration.
The space where rural and urban intersect throws up fascinating images and atmospheres, with overtly brutalist structures seemingly invading scenes of traditional natural beauty.
I focus on this tension between the natural and the fabricated. Sometime the fabricated is dominant: huge concrete structures carving holes through nature and standing uncompromising on the landscape. But often nature fights back. It reclaims the space and erodes and shapes the structures. Sometimes I include graffiti, which adds a further dimension to the scenes. The multiple sources of colour, tone and textures can feel almost unreal and unsettling.
I am drawn to the ordinary stuff. The functional, deserted or dilapidated. The blot on the landscape. These scenes bring their own beauty.