Main image: Early Summer Evening, St Martin’s in the Fields, 24 x 24, Oil on Panel
Early spring, early evening, the hours between work and home.
Michael Alford sets out to capture London’s transitional moments with a new selection of cityscapes, on show at Panter and Hall, Pall Mall, 11-27 October 2023
I painted the majority of the cityscapes in this show during the late winter/early spring of 2023. I favour this transitional time of year for scenes of London because the quality of light is interesting to me. The low sun produces unexpected shadows and points where objects catch the light. The changeable weather — sudden showers, fine drizzle, mist — adds a degree of mystery to familiar places and prospects. It helps me see them afresh.
Most of the pictures show London in the early evening, another period of transition. It’s a time when the daylight is receding and artificial light is coming into play. Streetlights, headlights, digital billboards, even the localised glow of mobile phone screens, begin to change the way the city looks even while natural light is still visible. I’m drawn to these moments when many kinds of light are present at the same time.
Another reason I like painting London in the early evening is for its human element. It’s a time when the city comes to life. My cityscapes are always really settings for figures, the architecture a frame for the city’s inhabitants. The early evening brings people out of their offices and into the streets. Groups are socialising outside pubs, people are shopping, meeting friends, making their way home. It’s this animation that a gives the city its life and it’s this life I try to capture in these cityscapes.
For gallery information and painting prices and availability contact Panter and Hall.