My work incorporates ideas of shelter and utopia which I explore through painting and drawing.
The title is taken from the 1940'sBirminghamregeneration manifesto designed to improve people's quality of life by clearing the slums and re-housing the poor, which ultimately led to the building of High rise flats that engendered a legacy of social, constructive and economic problems. Future developments offer a chance to redesign and improve upon those unsuccessful outdated projects and to meet the needs of a new generation. Will the architects and town planners learn from the past or will history repeat itself?
My vision When We Build Again depict den-like structures; as if created by children, cobbled together out of the building blocks salvaged from the remains of the previous buildings and cities. They are flawed buildings of the future, constructive as development of the regeneration process leaving a trail of derelict, crumbling buildings which themselves will eventually become monuments to past failures.
The paintings and drawings are of unplanned spaces that experiment with hidden rules and parameters; some have been abandoned, some never occupied and some incomplete. They form exterior psychological structures that are isolated but are delicately connected, forming a precarious city on stilts. Disconnected from the ground but directly connected to creativity these paintings witness architectural invention and a vehement search for the primal need of shelter.
Jonathan Powell, 2013
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