Norwich walks series. Riverside, near Bishop Bridge. 25 cm x 25 cm. Oil on wood panel. April 2020.
Despite the unfortunate nature of events that have brought about the changes in life at the moment, and we are all in lock-down due to the Corona virus, there are undeniably positives that emerge.
I have predominantly been drawn to landscapes that are unpopulated, or even if populated, I have always been captured by the place; Seeing places as if they are backdrops or stages, upon which any and all variations of life can happen.
During this period of lock-down, when the streets are empty of people, it is a really good opportunity to see the city; to see and get a feel for the place without the distractions of the current life that is happening within.
As I walked through the grounds of the cathedral, on one of the walks that I take daily, I realised that without the people that are normally milling about, there were no clues to which period of time I was experiencing. I realised that everything I was looking at would have looked exactly the same during the 17th century, With no people, there were no clothes or bikes or holding of mobile phones, that identified 'current life'. I felt an eerie and unsettling moment of being unconnected to the surroundings...as all of the familiar 'grounding' elements were not there. I had a real sense of the uncanny. Which I thoroughly enjoyed! Being drawn to any artist or film maker that can capture 'the uncanny' (David Lynch...you shall always be my hero!)...it was a wonderful moment of feeling it first hand.
Having this chance to spend so much time walking around my city, I have started to see the place afresh, and decided that I would do a series of paintings of scenes that I have noticed on my walks during the lock-down.
One of the things that I have noticed more during this time are the beautiful trees that are abundant throughout the city centre. With cafes and shops shut, I find that the city centre has now become a place to visit in its own right. When there is no cafe to head for, or no shop to rush to, the alternative is to look more, and begin to see the parts that can be easily overlooked in normal times.