Sketching in the neighbourhood.
I created the body of work entitled Connected during the spring and early summer of 2020.
It all started during the lockdown. The restraint of Stay at Home made me turn my artistic eye to my immediate surroundings. I went out to sketch the streets of the neighbourhood. I’ve never seen the sky so blue, the colours so strong. Or maybe I haven’t looked properly, always short of time and rushing to do the next chore.
Firstly, I thought this subject attracted me simply because of the beauty of the season and the abundance of time.
Later on, I realised, there is so much more to it. This is not just the street I live on; this is where my support network is. I feel safe walking these streets. I know people and people know me. I like seeing the familiar faces of my neighbours, smiling at me, stopping for a short chat, checking how am I coping, wishing me to Stay Well.
After I had a look at the collection of paintings I have accomplished, I realised something more. The way I have been choosing which streets to sketch – I’ve intuitively been picking up spots with telegraph poles nearby. I knew then what message was coming through – to me, and to my viewers – We Are All Connected. We have these invisible links that keep us together. Our morning Hellos, our WhatsApp support groups, our chats in the queue in the supermarket. The locals in High Barnet know what I am talking about. I created this for you, and because of you, neighbours. Let’s Stay Connected.
Carnarvon Road, just across the road from where I live, is one of my favourites to sketch. Its not only pretty, but it is a supper friendly road. Its residents are very much Connected – through their street WhatsApp group, through their Christmas get-togethers and street parties. At the time of me painting this picture, during Lockdown N1, people from the street have hang a banner across the street, with hand made posters for the NHS. I have sketched a little suggestion of the banner into the picture.