Background information

Within the field of painting I am dealing as directly as I can with the title ‘Urban Voids and Absences’.
These paintings have been made specifically for this exhibition and they can only really be seen
in the flesh not in photographic images.

All of the images of the city are views from our house which is on a hill above the city centre.
As it happens we are about to loose this view as an old electricity substation in front of the
house has been sold to developers who will build a tall block of flats.

Sheffield has no sense of being a real city so many of the original buildings have gone.
The local newspaper compares the current state of Sheffield to how it looked during the
last war, printing war photos alongside photos of the current piles of rubble. Living from day
to day here I do not notice the change until a building vanishes and I will not see it again.
Older buildings were built around the geology and natural form of the land, today’s
developments level big areas, erasing nature and history. Many times I have heard
elderly people say the developers have done far more damage than the Blitz ever did.

There are new blocks in the city centre which do not look real they look like paper prints
generated by a computer and stuck in the city.

Placing a glass structure next to an old dark stone parade of shops is interesting in itself,
but the emphasis is usually on the projection of an image by the new building.

Looking out from our house the terraced houses below were due for demolition in the
1960s but frightening social problems began to appear in the newly built high rise flats so
the council began to hand out grants for people to modernise the old houses.

The current spaces in the city leave room for the imagination, this is unintentional, cash flow
has just halted things. Far less is unintentional in Berlin the changes and rebuilding that I saw
are clearer cut and more ambitious than those in Sheffield but what is happening has parallels.