Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Knights of Salford Docks.

"All my people are lonely. Crowds are the most lonely thing of all. Everyone is a stranger to everyone else." - L.S. Lowry
During Manchester Artists Book Fair we rested our heads in sunny Salford. On the first night we ventured to the Quay where these giants were looking out across the water. In the dark they appeared like vast ragged knights on horseback guarding the stretch and I continued to think about them in this way.
Enjoying the industrial charm of Salford I noted from arrival that it was mostly roundabouts, scrap metal, and tracksuits on bikes eating ice creams (right up my street).

Also the birthplace of L.S. Lowry, we visited The Lowry centre to see a summer exhibition of the great man's work. Without being clichéd: I have been inspired by his scenes of northern life from a young age, choosing to draw from his paintings in galleries as a nipper. Seeing this collection expanded on this favour, revealing more about Lowry's methods and inner-workings. Never before thinking about how he made his paintings, it was interesting to me to hear that all the scenes were done from 'memory' - a culmination of experience and note-taking.

"I never paint on the spot but I like to look for a long time, make drawings and think... I liked in those days to do a picture entirely out of the mind's eye. I think it gets nearer to the truth, because there are no facts to hamper you."

Very simple sketches and plans of situations were exhibited alongside his built-up scenes, and it was the former that he used to capture the action and record it ready for inclusion within his artwork. This was something that made me think a lot about my own methods and whether I could adopt a more freeing way of creating drawings, channeling some of Lowry's wisdom in this manner.

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