I began working in Oaklands Park House in November 2014 following a drawing workshop in Turner’s House in Twickenham. I wanted to continue my investigation into liminal spaces within a house. Gaston Bachelard’s observations on locations within a house in The Poetics of Space were very much in my mind. I wanted to capture something of how it feels to be in those spaces. My paintings are of the main staircase and window and the basement area – largely abandoned at the time of working down there. These are the paintings which have been inspired by the house:
These are two of the paintings in situ. Basement 3 hangs in the main entrance area to the house and is the first thing that you see on entering the house.
Time lapse video of starting the painting in the basement
This smaller painting was very much inspired by Basil Beattie’s work on doors and the Roman god Janus, who is the god of doorways and looks forward and behind. The basement space where I was drawing and painting has a doorway at each end of a dark corridor and I wanted to depict this in at least one of my paintings. Only today, Jim Macey, who works in Oaklands Park House, has shown me that in the core room of the house, behind the entrance hall where my painting Basement 3 now hangs, is a depiction of Janus in the decoration on the fireplace.
This final photo is taken via the mirrors in that core room, so that we are ourselves looking ahead and also behind us.