George Shaw

George Shaw’s paintings chart the urban landscape of his childhood home on the Tile Hill Estate in Coventry. Painted in Humbrol enamels, more usually associated with boyhood model-making Shaw’s works revisit landmarks remembered from his youth.

They are places of pitched-roof terraces, wasteland and scrubby woods, where things – whether goalposts, gates or gravestones – are on the verge of collapse. In some cases, buildings have been demolished, but there’s no sign of a replacement – nothing’s going to happen in a hurry. Even nature doesn’t come to the rescue: one recurring feature is a stark truncated tree.

It could be stated that he has found a kind of beauty turning these drab forgotten corners into scenes of eerie beauty. However Tile Hill isn’t redeemed by Shaw’s depictions: the drabness and exhaustion remain. In a way his works are generic, for they evoke so many corners of the post-war UK. Conflating memory and present day reality, the paintings take on an uncanny quality, alluding to a murkier side of contemporary society and collective subconscious.

Biography

George Shaw 2004

George Shaw 2004

Untitled (2)
Watercolour on paper
20.8 x 29.5 cm


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