Tom Banks – Cul-de-Sac
Preview: Friday June 30th
Exhibition continues until Saturday July 29th
Open Wed – Sat 12-5pm
Artist talk: Sat July 1st
I park and search the darkness ahead for movement, nothing, not even the scrabbling of a nocturnal creature to disturb the stillness. Looking in the mirror, the same in reverse. I sit a while concerned that I may be taken in, not by the stateless, but by the sleepless.The low clouds, illuminated by the streetlights have now dispersed. I ease myself out into the cold. The blackness above is given weight and form by the lack of stars. I follow the concrete curb defining the border between the path and the road. It swings right guiding me past a sapling tree into the cul-de-sac, the dead-end street, the no-through road. Within, the silent houses gawp at each other. I walk swiftly, stopping to do the business as I go. Following the path, I skirt the mild mannered shrubbery completing the task. Back at the feeder I put away my tools and walk back to where it began.
Cul-de-Sac is an exhibition of paintings depicting a walk through an unknown suburban housing estate, where we find that things are not quite right. This apparently benign location might not offer the homely comforts or warm welcome we are lead to believe will greet us
Consisting of scaled down replicas of real homes, some wall hung and some placed on plinths, they are painted as they would be seen at night, and are interspersed with conventional canvas paintings of the flora that exists between the concrete walls.
The exhibition suggests that this apparently benign location, filled with ordinary houses fringed by acceptable lawns and discreet borders, might not offer the homely comforts or warm welcome we are lead to believe will greet us. We discover here that things are not quite right.
These homes are dark and lack the signs of people within. There is no comforting electric glow warming the curtains, no muffled sounds of conversation, the inhabitants, naturally, asleep. Or maybe, just maybe, the occupants have been disappeared, moved on by some unknown event, and the houses are now abandoned, just empty carcasses, haunted by what once was. The presence of absence being a reminder of what we can lose, that we can lose, hopeful that we haven’t already.
We are in the between hours, solid hours, thick and heavy with stillness, filled with the yearning for something to begin again, for the light to speed us on, towards the end, again.
Tom Banks studied painting at Kingston University, graduating in 1996. In 2008 he was a founder member of the artist run gallery, Black Lark Gallery in St Leonards on Sea. As well as undertaking residences in London and Hastings he has exhibited in numerous group shows and competitions in Barcelona, London and throughout the UK, winning the Beep Wales International painting prize in 2016. His work is held in private collections in the UK and Spain.