|The Old House Dreams It Is Still There, 42 x 30cm|
ROYAL ACADEMY OF ART Summer Show 2015
You cross the road which runs along the bottom of the painting and find a narrow lane winding up and away out of sight. It's lined with cottages which look onto greenery, a copse and a field. It could be anywhere. On the right is a small boy in blue, standing in the shade, safely on the pavement. Why is he so still?
But centre right is the ghost house.The door faces us, a door that's closed. The house is dreaming of the past that is still present, still dominating that corner, grander than the cottages perhaps, weighed down with bricks and mortar. Perhaps it's listening to the chatter inside.
This witty and gracious picture is tickling our dreams about houses we have known. Memories ease themselves into our consciousness. A street corner in Hammersmith with mown grass, a park seat and a small electricity sub station, was once a three storey end-of-terrace house. Now the spot lives on in the memories of old men who think back affectionately to the years they enjoyed the bomb-site-cum-play-ground. We once moved into a house on a corner which won architectural awards in the 70s. It was demolished last year:it was so shoddily built it was unsafe. It has now shrunk to a life on shelves of architects' plans and blueprints, press cuttings about the Award, sheaves of litigation, and the sounds of the families and neighbours who once moved and lived and had their being there.
In researching this painting I came across the blog listed immediately below. It has small images of six paintings. Four are by current Royal Academicians and one of the others is The Old House Dreams It Is Still There. The blog shows the price of each at the time of writing. It makes an interesting comparison.