Hi mum just called to say

Painting of Parliament Square in London with Big Ben and a red phone box with people©2014 - Cathy Read - Hi Mum, Just Called to say...- Watercolour and Acrylic on paper-30 x 21 cm

London, painting a tourist’s perspective.

Crystalline skies in dark cerulean blues dominate the top right. As your eyes move downward, the recognisable silhouette of Big Ben’s clock tower and the Houses of Parliament are hinted at. You can make out the clock face but not the time. It could be anytime.

The scene is an iconic view. Photographed endlessly in various interpretations. This one focuses on the phone box. Taller than the Houses of Parliament due to perspective.
Bright energetic reds with a dark figure inside. The word telephone written in capitals across the top, superfluous and old fashioned. No one says telephone it’s a phone box pure and simple. A classic style once disappearing but so fondly remembered that it was brought back. Although I doubt it ever left here, it’s London after all and London preserves is iconography.

Returning to the figure who is he?

Who is he calling?

What’s he saying?

We will never know but I imagine, in times before mobile phones, this particular phone box saw a lot of action. Sons and Daughters calling parents, parents calling the their offspring, lovers parted through work or travel. Friends catching up, the list is endless.

If it were you who would you call? The building on the left seems to be leaning over the phone box almost as if it’s trying to gather it up or topple it over or maybe listening to the conversation. There are other figures too, a couple walking along and another pair looking at the map to see where they are and where they need to go.

You can just about make out the line of cars behind The Wall on the right a nod to London’s ever present traffic. Notice the regimented lines and how they contrast with the paint. The colours seem to be trying to escape, in a bid for freedom.

Painting of Parliament Square in London with Big Ben and a red phone box with people©2014 - Cathy Read - Hi Mum, Just Called to say...- Watercolour and Acrylic on paper-30 x 21 cm
Hi Mum, Just Called to say…- ©2014 – Cathy Read – Watercolour and Acrylic on paper-30 x 21 cm – £257 framed



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