London is an ever-shifting canvas. Buildings are painted in and painted out. The Ballerina like cranes swing through the sky to the song of the drill and the clanking of scaffolding. I’m not sure I’ll ever reconcile with the constant noise of construction in London.
So much of what I knew of the East End when I first arrived in London to study in 1998 has vanished. The East End was the playground of St Martins students who partied hard against the gritty backdrop. In the folly of my youth, I never appreciated half of those buildings until standing in front of Doreen Fletcher’s paintings last Thursday at Town House, Spitalfields. Her series of paintings, are a little slice of history. Documenting the dramatic changes in the landscape and community from the early 1980s, up until 2003.
The irony being that no gallery was even interested in showing her work back then. The paintings were put away and Doreen stopped painting. Such is the current nostalgia for the East End, I saw nothing but red SOLD dots on Thursday.
“These paintings depict a lost time, which has gone and cannot be recovered, but I hope this exhibition will encourage us to make up for that lost time and demand a new way of looking at future development in our cities before it really is too late.” - Fiona Atkins, Town House, Spitalfields.
Do visit before the exhibition closes on the 26th of June and the paintings are move to their new homes. And I hope Doreen is encouraged to pick up her paintbrush again.