Budapest 2018 As artist in residence I ‘documented’ the vacant lots in Budapest. I wondered about their histories and futures, but their present also had presence, expressing something about Pest’s identity and inner consciousness. The sharp angles, brickwork firewalls, and sense of both enclosure and openness – they are a defining feature of Pest. The paintings were built with pages of a Communist-era travel book describing the historic/architectural tourist sites of Hungary: Magyarorszag Utikonyvek. Strips were cut and tinted (text remains visible) and then used to build up the space, consisting of strong perspectives and elements of human presence.
Novi Sad 2022 This Serbian city has an appealing old town at its heart and an interesting urban fabric with openings and passages that weave a pedestrian experience at ground level, both in the old town and the residential areas beyond. I challenged myself to use watercolour to represent these bright open spaces and then came to add collage to take the ‘traditional’ edge off, but also to capture the deep tones of the dark passages. I like to combine contrasts – such as realism with abstraction, nature with architecture, small scale with large scale – so this combination provided an interesting duo: extreme light and dark contrasts, and incorporating enclosed and open spaces within a single plane.