Monday, 15 August 2011


Cork Street Open Exhibition

I chose this beautiful painting from among the 200+ artworks on display partly because it poses so many questions.

The perspective is striking.  Where is the viewer standing? Too low to see the whole building, so do I  have to imagine the lower storey – and maybe a basement? And where is the pavement? Am I standing on solid ground? Perhaps the house is tilting  backwards? Who lives next door? What sort of street are we looking at? Do those busy fire escapes mean we’re looking at the back of the building? If it is the back, what’s the front like? 

If the stairs are arrows directing us out of the picture, the solid geometrical street lamp puts a stop to that with a reassuring light. Because the artist doesn’t allow us to linger around the building. The stairways and the lamp post and the triangular attic windows point us onwards and upwards.  Then we are sailing through a beautiful iridescent blue which fills most of the painting, its purity untroubled by clouds or smoke or birds or any other diversion.

The economy of colour and design and structure is perfect, but this is not an abstract pattern. One house has a door ajar and some windows are open. Is someone going to step out onto a balcony? We're glimpsing a mini neighbourhood, a community.

 ‘All my work originates from the idea of community, the towns and structures we build, and the way we shape and destroy the natural and urbanised landscape’. But there is optimism in the air, especially in that stunning blue sky.  The artist describes herself as interested in maps and aerial photography and ‘looking at things from a multi-layered perspective’. This means  showing ‘the shape of the environment as it changes, diminishing in one direction, growing in another’.

copyright Deborah Jane Batt
I tracked down one of the artist’s abstract works on the internet. The title echoes the title of the painting above: Community 2-5.

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