Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Untitled (two paintings about spaces: a stairway)

Artist: Claire Moore
Location: Corner of a corridor running behind the cinema
Medium: Oil on Plywood
Comment: I grew up on the North Peckham Estate in South London and to get home from primary school had to use a stairway which I found intensely frightening. I don't now if the dream began because I was scared of the stairs, or I became scared of them because of the dream; but every night it was exactly the same: as I got halfway up the four flights something grabbed me cutting into my leg so I couldn't make it home. Consequently the fear intensified as I had to face these stairs everyday.
At college we were set a project for which we had to paint about something from our past which still affected us on an emotional level - be this happy or sad. I immediately knew I would finally paint this recurring nightmare I used to have as a ten-year old child.
I began the work first thing the following morning and that lunchtime I put the radio on to hear the newsreader state that a ten year old boy - Damilola Taylor - had been found dead on the North Peckham Estate. He died on his way home from school due to a stab wound to his thigh; he died half-way up that very same stairwell.
The investigating officer was Ron Harman; the tutor who set the project was Rod Harman.
I completed the stairway then went on to make a series of abstract paintings exploring what it was that made a particular space either inviting or repellent to us.
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