Images of London
An exhibition of paintings by Michael Strang

Michael Strang sketching the Houses of Parliament

The Gallery, Virginia Water, Surrey
13 October to 3 November 2001

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The words accompanying each picture below were written by the artist.

Houses of Parliament, Night
1  Houses of Parliament, Night                   Oil on canvas   16" x 18"

It is as though the heavens had conspired to lay their stars on the Houses of Parliament this night. Jewels of every hue shimmer from the buildings and bedeck the river below.

Houses of Parliament, Rainbow
2  Houses of Parliament, Rainbow                      Oil on Canvas 19" x 20"

The rainbow was greatly loved by the painter John Constable and as I respond to the glory of her colours I cannot but help feel I am in communion with him. The Houses of Parliament hang like a gem on fire in the passing blackness. It's no surprise that in the old testament the rainbow was God's covenant to man.

Tower Bridge, Rising Moon
3  Tower Bridge, Rising Moon                    Oil on Canvas 9" x 13"

Voices can be heard echoing down the paths of time in this most historic area of London. These voices, sharpened by the moonlight, metamorphose into a flickering display of colour of infinite beauty...... the painter is enraptured.

Tower Bridge, Sunrise
4  Tower Bridge, Sunrise                     Oil on Canvas 24" x 30"

The sun rising beyond Tower Bridge evokes Wordsworth’s words 'The city now doth like a garment wear the beauty of the morning...  the river glideth at his own sweet will... all that mighty heart is lying still.' Cadmium drips from the sun into the river beneath splashing her beauty onto the myriad forms that tremble in the morning air. Momentarily a seagull creates a crucifix against the sky.

St Paul’s from under Waterloo Bridge
5   St Paul's from under Waterloo Bridge         Oil on Canvas 24" x 30"

St Paul's nestling in the arch of Waterloo Bridge sheds her memories like confetti on the City of London. Wren's spirit still embraces and protects his creation as it did in the blitz. A jet trail high above speaks of modernity and takes the soul to foreign lands.

Piccadilly at Night
6  Piccadilly at Night                     Watercolour & Gouache 8" x 11"

Just the heart of London or perhaps the whole universe? Flesh and metal move in unison creating a symphony of sound that the moon and stars conduct from their emerald height. My paintbrush a conductor's baton that orchestrates the colours that dazzle and pulsate.

Sunrise, Tower Bridge and Tower of London
7  Sunrise, Tower Bridge & Tower of London               Oil on Canvas 13" x 20"

Traitors Gate just visible by the tower. Is the fear of those who entered there still trapped in the surrounding walls or did it bleed into the Thames and lose itself forever in distant oceans? Or perhaps it drowned in the morning light and dripped onto an artist's palette.

Moon over London
8  Moon over London                                       Oil on canvas 36" x 48"

Moonlight holds the city in ghostly fingers. Stars dance in harmony with the lights below.The river and sky offer their blackness without which the performance could not take place. The magic of oils parallel the night's mystery.

Houses of Parliament, Rain
9  Houses of Parliament, Rain                     Pencil & Graphite 7" x 9"

The Houses of Parliament oscillate in the graphite darkness. Streaks of pencil are wet with rain and hope's light hovers behind Parliament's edifice.

Near The Royal Academy
10  Near The Royal Academy                            Oil on Canvas 20" x 24"

Phone boxes, buses, people buried and trapped in luscious tactile oil paint suggest an eroticism both spiritual and physical. The colours transcending their subject and speaking on a level that is both abstract and figurative.

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