Having lived in London for so long, I was compelled several years ago to buy a London artwork. This turned out to be a linocut print of Battersea Power Station by a London based artist I have long admired: Paul Catherall.
Now, many people will have seen a Paul Catherall print without realising they have. London Transport have a long history of commissioning artists to design their posters and over the years I have spotted many a Catherall design on tube platforms and bus stops. Recently a new set of posters has been revealed, which once again showcase his arresting artworks across the city.
I remember being allowed to gouge out lino tiles at school to make simple relief prints, using a set of near lethal cutters. A few years ago I spent hours carving a rather rustic lino cut design, solely in black and white, for a party invite. It wasn’t easy! Looking at my print, “Battersea Brick” the degree of artistry and skill needed to create the sharp lines of the brickwork and the creamy tones on the curved chimneys is apparent. I love the way the image conveys the heaviness of this immense brick built building, sitting squat and immoveable, whilst its airy white chimneys reach skywards. With artful shapes and colours, the complexity of this iconic building is captured in all it’s glory.
I was lucky enough to visit Battersea Power Station in 2011, when the landmark building was opened for a rare public viewing. Comparing the photos I took then with my print, I can only assume that Paul Catherall was standing in almost the same place as I was! For many people living in London, including me, the power station is one of the last great iconic industrial buildings, but now with the redevelopment of the area and the building itself, it seems we will start to lose the open space around it and this iconic view will be permanently altered.
I was also excited to read about a current retrospective exhibition of Paul Catherall’s work at For Arts Sake, the Printmakers Gallery in Ealing. It’s worth the trip! Battersea Brick isn’t included so I can only assume the edition has long sold out. The exhibition is on until May 17th 2015.
You can also see more of Catherall’s work on the gallery’s pinterest page: https://www.pinterest.com/forartssakeuk/printmaker-paul-catherall/
©Chez l’abeille 2015