Sunday Supplement: Nordic Chills
In the first Sunday Supplement of 2012 which, for those of you who have not seen one before, features one, or a few of my non-Norm paintings, I have decided to pay homage to all things chilly. This is roundly because it has turned awfully cold here in London – ok, it’s not snowing or anything, but having had an unusually mild winter so far, we were all hoping that the spring had come early, and I think most of the budding plants all about were pretty much anticipating the same thing. So in homage to the cold, and in reminding myself that there are always colder places, I have decided to feature my paintings which were inspired by a series of visits I made to Scandinavia in 2009/2010, starting with a snowy trip to the elegant city of Stockholm, followed by an equally frosted visit to the buzzing city of Copenhagen. Upon visiting Stockholm, I was particularly struck by how watery the city is, probably more so because the water wasn’t actually frozen when I visited unlike the city’s Danish counterpart. When I took a boat trip around the archipelago, I was particularly struck by the various lighthouses which could be seen dotted all about. They looked solemn and lonely, stood steadfastly resolute in their solitude, performing their lone task of perpetual warning against sea ships and sailors whose vision is clouded with an icy fog. The result was a series of 5 paintings of lighthouses which were later exhibited along the famous Nyhavn in Copenhagen.
It was in fact on delivering my paintings to the Nyhavn Gallery in Copenhagen that I was inspired to paint my other Nordic work. Simply entitled Copenhagen, the work explores my fascination with the startling modern architecture, whose sharp angles and precise lines seemed to echo and suffuse with the cracking, floating ice which formed afresh each night over the city’s vast waterways. The fresh modernity of the city contrasts with Danish history represented by a furry Viking invading the scene at the foot of the painting, a wooden toy the likes of which you can buy (and I did – much to my partner’s disapproval) in souvenir shops all over Denmark. There too are signs of other Danish feats: Lego characters promenade outside the Opera House, and the city’s emblematic Little Mermaid statute, based on the story of that famous Dane, Hans Christian Andersen, who in my painting sits of the quayside, fishing fresh sushi, the likes of which I had enjoyed for the first time while in Copenhagen. The sushi, to this extent, also represents the city’s cosmopolitan feel, while the plumes of smoke flowing from the very prominent chimneys are testament to Denmark’s industrial prowess, while representing something of a conflict with their very “green” contemporary attitude.
Wrap up warm, until next time…
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