Queen’s Road Peckham
2009 by Sam Hodge
Broadway Gallery until 15th July, http://samhodge77.wordpress.com
Hodge’s painting is perhaps the piece most clearly about London in the Underground on BROADWAY exhibition. His paintings take London’s homes, its estates, its streets, and quietly observe. Watching the city, Hodge captures the atmosphere that flutters by, catching it in his painterly brush strokes, presenting us with a sense of both time and place. Queen’s Road Peckham does this in a tumult of colour and style — grey, the colour of cities, rainy skies, pavement and concrete, washes across the canvas in waves that sweep across the road and up the sides of houses. The colour seems to leak tonally, seeping into the entire composition, out of the sky and into the bricks, washing out from the pavement to spill into the road. Even the traffic cone with its white and yellow seems to have been dulled with this haze of grey. The painterly style then exaggerates this effect, pushing the colour with wide strokes that highlight, not with light but with the medium, a trope of atmosphere. The perspective in this painting, along with its unification of colour, also ties the composition together. We look upwards at the scene, across the vast road that spreads before the buildings like a mirror. The composition seems almost to be split in half, as if the road is a reflection of the buildings that spring from it, an urban version of landscape casting itself in the waters of a pond.