I have always loved Arnold Circus, which I discovered about forty years ago when I was a student at the Slade and wandered around that area when I was going to Brick lane market on Sundays. Also through the wonderful drawings and paintings by Leon Kossoff and last year when I saw Perry Parkes painting of it at Town House.
This summer just as lockdown was being eased I started to think about painting here, timing it so I would catch the Hollyhocks that I remembered seeing there. It was quite quiet but still full of life, with local residents walking their dogs or sitting in the sun on the benches. The first day this white cat strolled across the path and I wanted to put him in. What was really nice was the chats I had with the volunteer gardeners who were working very hard around the edges of the circle and there was a great feeling of camaraderie amongst them, they had found out they had lost their funding and were putting up notices asking for donations, so many people love the place, they reached their target very quickly. I love the red brick blocks of flats and the schools and behind every window there are so many stories, I go into a kind of reverie when I’m painting outside and I think about the history and the present, and I feel all that goes into the painting.
Arnold Circus h50cm x 70cm