‘Outside looking in’ has been a major factor in my ability to cope with the isolating effects of social distancing over the past eighteen months. I have always been fascinated by glimpses into the lives of others as twilight descends, yet curtains and blinds remain undrawn. I took to regularly walking the neighbourhood streets, observing not only the interiors and their accompanying activities, but also changing light and its effect on the external surface and fabric of buildings.
E Pellicci is a renowned cafe situated in Bethnal Green. We were driving past one Sunday afternoon a few months ago when suddenly, I asked my husband to stop the car. I was struck by the brightly lit exterior in contrast to the melancholic air of an institution denied its raison d’être and purpose in life: to welcome others and to provide comfort and sustenance in the form of delicious hot meals. Yet it also symbolises the spirit of so many during this very difficult period of all our lives: to carry on regardless. Take aways are available during the week and I revisited the location several times when the serving hatch was open; there were a few tables and people outside, but I decided that the most poignant interpretation of ‘Pellicci’s’ would be that based on my first glimpse, when the interior beckoned seductively.
Pellicci oil on canvas
Size: 60cm h x 45cm w
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