Bread or Fresh Air Exhibition

‘Poor people who were feeling the pinch thought still more nostalgically of towns and villages in the near-by countryside, where bread was cheap and life without restrictions. Indeed, they had a natural if illogical feeling that they should have been permitted to move out to these happier places. The feeling was embodied in a slogan shouted in the streets and chalked up on walls: "Bread or fresh air!"’ 'The Plague’ by Albert Camus 1947 My work is grounded in graphic communication and the artwork in this exhibition was generated as a response to the pandemic restrictions imposed between January and March 2021. "Bread or fresh air!" is taken from ‘The Plague’ by Albert Camus and refers to the contradictions, felt by the confined townspeople, to leave the city despite knowing they would carry the disease with them. In this work I aim to address the cognitive dissonance experienced through imposed restraints and explore where comfort and hope are found in troubled times. Documenting the evening meal became a signifier to an uncertain reality. Every plate was licked clean to mark the passing of time, much as a prisoner scores lines on the wall of their cell. Each meal was documented with a black and white photograph and recorded on a spreadsheet noting the date and type of meal. Only three days are absent. As they accumulated, the imperative to create a typology began to arise and, by necessity, the use of colour. With the relaxation of restrictions corresponding with the advent of spring, the notion of colour returning to the world is reinforced. Concrete: Balcony Bubble - Latex Ink Print on Canvas 100 x 75 cm. Retail Price £510

Concrete Digital Collages

Initiated in 2018, the series of ‘Concrete’ digital collages predate the pandemic. Originally, also in black and white, they drew on the concept of an alienating, dystopian future gaining further significance as it merged with the realities of the lockdown. This cumulated in ‘Concrete: Balcony Bubble’, where the freedom cry of “Bread or fresh air!” takes on a new significance. Concrete: Jungle (2021) 1/5 Latex Ink Print on Canvas 80 x 40 cm - Retail Price £405 Concrete: Jungle (2021) 1/5 HP Latex Ink Print on Canvas 80 x 40 cm - Retail Price £405

Graphic Designer

Sixteen Songs of Concrete & Stone Inspired by musicians and songwriters who have explored our relationship with the urban environment, Gillian uses the structures of London's Brutalist and modernist architecture to interrogate the social, structural or material connections of the buildings and cityscapes we inhabit. In 1923 Le Corbusier wrote, ‘Modern life demands, awaits a new plan for the house and for the city’. In post-war Britain architects broke with tradition and introduced new materials and building techniques and in doing so they changed the city landscape forever. Stripped of ornamentation and following the maxim that ‘form follows function’ they embraced steel, glass and concrete to create extraordinary, monumental buildings with the intention of making a better world. Although Corbusier believed he was providing a better world for humanity, the idea that homes and cities as ‘machines for living’ led to an authoritarian approach to architecture. Theodore Dalrymple observed that ‘in his thousands of architectural photos and drawings, it is rare indeed that a human figure ever appears, and then always as a kind of distant ant, unfortunately spoiling an otherwise immaculate, Platonic townscape.’ This dismissal of the buildings’ inhabitants, combined with the many issues thrown up by poor social planning, maintenance costs and even the physical degradation of the materials has reinforced the sense of disconnection, alienation and claustrophobia felt by those navigating these man-made utopias. Anatomical Sun (Size 120 cm x 80cm) Sold Concrete Dreams (52cm x 42.5cm) £106.50 Twenty Floors Up (52cm x 42.5cm) £106.50 Girders of Babel (52cm x 42.5cm) £106.50