"reminding one of perilous finances"


(text as supplied)


Private View 17th Thurs May 6-9pm
Exhibition 18th May - 1st June 11-6pm Mon-Sat

Julian Hartnoll Gallery 37 Duke Street, St James’s London SW1Y 6DF

London. An unfamiliar London, off the beaten track, the routes you take when you are going somewhere else, and then find that you are in somewhere else. The streets look down trodden, with shops selling food that seems alien, Hijab shops, Polish delis, kebab shops, pawn brokers and Pounds shops (reminding one of perilous finances.) The heart sinks and one longs for the fantasy London of yesterday, the scene of Ealing comedies and sixties spy films, the photographs of Rodger Mayne when children played in the streets, the milkman cheerily whistled on his rounds and friendly grocers selling apples and pears knew you by name.

Nesta Fitz-Gerald doesn’t have a sweetly nostalgic view of London – she’s sharp; she shows us the reality of her London in 2012. These deceptively bright illustrations may show familiar sights, a double decker bus driving off, the green man sign flashing on the pedestrian crossing, a woman – is that the Queen? walking corgis, Fortnum and Mason but these drawings are not in line with the current trend for Keep Calm and Carry-on - they are a little subversive, even a little sly. Things in these streets are not quite as they seem at first glace. Look again - darker things are happening.

Using her apparently friendly style of illustration, which has echoes of the work of Osbert Lancaster Nesta pretends to draw us into a comfortable world but as we gaze we become aware of a rawer place altogether, a place of dichotomy. By juxtaposing these binary worlds Nesta persuades the viewer to accommodate them both and to relish their beauty (and perhaps to discard our love affair with nostalgia)

We all come from both these worlds now and Nesta wittily illustrates the light and the darkness within them . She shows us the familiar in the unfamiliar-- and the other way round.

For further information please contact Lizzie Hartnoll on elizabethhartnoll@me.com

[Since being listed at Creative Tourist (which is still a pleasure) I receive over a dozen press releases a day, most often for art exhibitions I can't attend in London and usually that I'm not that interested in.  Plus this isn't a billboard.  But I liked Lizzie's email (which didn't sound like something which had been sent to hundreds of others) and the supplied picture and thought you might be interested too so decided to post everything as is, just as an experiment.]

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