‘Looking In – Looking Out’ comprises 32 etchings, half of which were made (drawn, etched and printed) at Eton College during my residency there in the autumn of 2015. ‘Looking in’ is a portfolio of 16 etchings that began with simple observational drawings of the College. The new portfolio of 16 etchings ‘Looking Out’ were made from the Tulse Hill Estate in South East London at the beginning of 2016.
Being invited to live within the beautiful, historic buildings of Eton College with its connections with the British Royal Family and its powerful alumni was naturally a fascinating experience. Since I have small children I took up the residency on a part time basis, unlike previous residents who remained for the term. Travelling to Eton for half of the week and back to my housing estate in South London for the remainder of the time, I was continually faced with the differences. The affluence and beauty of the perfectly maintained Eton ‘bubble’, were in stark contrast to the buildings surrounding me at home. Eton has been recorded so often, both in visual terms and otherwise. It has a vast archive, libraries and museums documenting its existence. After the residency was completed I wanted in a small way to redress the balance by making a portfolio describing the Tulse Hill Estate which is – in my eyes- no less beautiful or interesting, in exactly the same way as I had the Eton ‘estate’. As far as possible with the second set of plates I have tried to find equivalents to the places I had made the initial 16 prints at Eton. For instance, the nearest equivalent to the ‘Chapel’, a neon cross on a building now used jointly as nursery and church. A classic cheap paper lampshade (Eton) and a spider plant (Tulse Hill) are also equivalent in their ubiquity.
The initial idea came from a conversation with a friend who mistook a description of my ‘estate’ as ‘country estate’. The disparity of the same vocabulary used in different contexts sparked the idea for ‘Looking In, Looking Out’
Eton Portfolio ‘Looking in’
Tulse Hill Portfolio ‘Looking Out’
Etching and block-print on paper
image size: 14.5 x 20 cm
Portfolios each comprise 16 etchings £2750
Individual Prints £275 unframed and £320 framed