Monday, 27 September 2010


50X76cm , oil on canvas,( c) Alex Hanna 


     A few steps away from Lila Pearl’s portrait is another child. Sandy is watching TV.  ‘Watching’ is a weasel word for what he’s doing – he’s absorbed, mesmerised, allowing the programme to wash away all the good and bad surprises his first day at Primary School brought to him.  
     The light is falling from the right, from the screen, possibly a window? It brushes against his hair and lightly sketches the contours of a young attentive face.  Vertical lines pierce a picture which is spare and compact and the colours - mostly sombre whites, silvery greys and dark blues - are warmed by the reassuring soft squidgy sofa cushion painted close to his face.  
    He’s still wearing his school uniform. Does he enjoy its strangeness? Is he proud of his new status? What impressions are locked away inside him? Has he been named after his father? Will he be an artist too? Sandy doesn't let on. It's the depth of his concentration which fascinates me - the enviable, yet slightly scary, way in which young children sometimes live in the now.

Much later I saw Alex Hanna's work again, Radiator 8,  in an exhibition in the crypt of St Marylebone Parish Church. You can see it too: Blog 339.

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