Exhibition dates – 17th May to 8th June 2014
On 24th May there will be a viewing of the exhibition from 6-30pm where Paul, Lynn and Alys will talk to guests in the gallery and answer any questions. This invite is open to anyone.
Location: Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, Bethnal Green, London E2 6HG www.oxfordhouse.org.uk
Background to the Wildlings exhibition.
From the Oxford English Dictionary; “Wilding or Wildling….a plant sown by natural agency”.
In 2009 I took a photograph of a derelict building site in Spain. The ground was covered in a mixture of wild spring flowers, which flourish there from Easter until early June, when the ground starts to scorch. This urban meadow, bordered by rusty wire fencing and discarded plastic piping, was the product of the housing and property crash in Spain. I was fascinated by the way the flowers completely ignored the need for neat lines, edging, containers or any classic garden design feature intent on restraining them in a ‘perfect’ display. They appeared where it suited. So began a personal project, recording found flora.
Under the working title ‘Despite the Odds’, I began to show Lynn images in late 2012 and the idea of paintings either directly from, or inspired by the photographs evolved. At the same time Alys and I made a short video entitled ‘Commuter Land’ which appeared in an episode of Into Gardens. Alys wrote an essay to accompany the video, which first introduced the name ‘Wildlings’. This was the catalyst for the collaborative project.
A few credits as this really has been a team effort … to Alys for the many hours spent planning, bouncing ideas around and shaping the project into its current form. To Lynn, for interpreting my vague email descriptions of scenes and turning them into artworks in a freezing cold studio in Wiltshire. Also to Faith, my wife, for checking copy and John Ryan at Oxford House, for agreeing to stage the event.
Paul Debois, January 2014