Artist Residency, NLCS

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Artist Residency, NLCS

Having spent 10 days at North London Collegiate School I had forgotten the buzz and noise that takes place every 35 minutes.  There is a rhythm to the school day.  NLCS has an incredible art department with talented practicing artists teaching.  I had a space allocated to me just by the entrance.  This enabled me to share my work and interact with the students. I usually prefer to create work alone in my studio.  This was a completely different environment and I enjoyed a new perspective of sharing work in progress.  There is an energy and vibrancy in the art department that encouraged me to have a lighter approach.

I wanted to create work that has its foundations in a sense of place.  The school has a wonderful history and is set in the former grounds of the Duke of Chandos estate where he build a palace in 1714.  Sadly the palace was demolished after the second Duke sold the house and lands due to debts.  The original colonnade now stands in front of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square.  What can be seen today at NLCS is the “modest villa” built by cabinet maker William Hallett Esq in 1760.  Thomas Gainsborough was commissioned to paint Mr and Mrs Hallett in the grounds and ‘The Morning Walk’ can be viewed in the National Gallery.

Exploring the grounds and buildings of NLCS really inspired me.  This is not a museum and the old building is incorporated into the school, housing classrooms and reception.  I created layered drawings that echo a sense of new and old. I wanted to produce work that had a real and tangible connection to the physical architecture.  I took rubbings of architectural details of the old building and gardens.  Being at this residency in Spring allowed me to visit at a time when the blossom was in full bloom and framing the buildings. I drew blossom and other plants found on the estate upon the rubbings creating a conversation in lines.  I chose bright and neon colours to communicate the energy and sound of the school.

To view artwork and details of forthcoming exhibition please click here.

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