||Newcastle Building Society Year of the Artist residency 2001. Sketch at Darlington branch |
2001, Graphite pencil
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Clare Hart and Mr Danoub. I became fascinated with the relationships between people particularly between customers and staff viewed from the comapny side of the counter. I made hundreds of drawings in 4 branch offices and many more at head office. A pattern began to emerge after a while and it had something to do with observing repeated actions and rituals and the observation of the minutae of the office landscape - the daytime habitat of the bank worker. Only a few of these ideas had begun to form paintings by the time the residency was over (6 months at 2 days per week). Another 6 months might have seen a really interesting body of paintings but the funds were not forthcoming from the bank - and that was long before the recession.
Interestingly the NBS was my mortgage lender and a couple of years earlier I had offered them some paintings in lieu of mortgage arrears which was politely refused. Even when I had managed to set up studio in the inner sanctum they still wouldn't help! I seemed to me like a missed opportunity for both of us and when I looked at the executive bonuses, cars and generous pension schemes it also looked mean spirited considering the celebration through art that I was making of their company.0