I am embarking on a series of interiors in East London. The display of wares in Leila’s Shop, backlit by natural light falling on the ranks of containers and display of cheeses, the rolled pats of butter on a slate slab, the upended bottles on a French rack, and the recent arrivals of produce still in their cardboard boxes, exude a calm, quiet beauty.
I want to convey how it feels to enter into this shop, with its sense of timelessness. The care with which Leila selects her produce, and with which she describes it, is an important part of the experience, as is the low light and cool temperature, which helps to keep the products fresh. I have always admired Dutch interior paintings, and to me Leila’s Shop embodies some of these qualities. To visit her shop offers us a moment of tranquility in our busy lives.
East London, that part ‘beyond the Tower’, offers many glimpses into its historical past, through shops, houses, businesses, infrastructure and architecture. By focussing on the interiors, I want to record some of the timeless qualities of this region of London, despite perpetual change.
Interior of Leila’s Shop h 41 cm x w 46 cm
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