When Dreams Take Shape – Lowry Centre Painting

Painting of the Lowry Centre in SalfordWhen Dreams take shape by Cathy REad

When dreams take shape is a Lowry Centre Painting. The Salford building is curious and feels very dark, due to facing north. A closer look tells you it’s not dark. The tower, with its helical panels, and the curious trough like structure and its support, create a shape in the void. The trough looks ready to pour its contents on the people below. Although there are no people in this scene. They’re behind us, passing from the Lowry bridge to the Media Centre, or the shopping arcade opposite the Lowry itself.

This is another early piece, it’s easy to see how my style has changed. If I were to attempt to recreate this piece, I’d do things differently. Perhaps I will. I was pleased with this piece at the time. It’s a popular piece, wherever it’s on display, so that may sway my opinion.

During this phase. I was emphasising the abstract, the order versus chaos dynamic. There is structure, but it’s simple, primitive, the bare bones of the shapes. The organic feel of the flowing ink softens the scene, creating energy in the shadows. Bold ink strokes, almost like writing, challenge the flat colour. Life is present everywhere in the nonsensical and frenetic marks used to darken areas.

There’s a feeling of height as the building and tower meet at the centre top. Looking back, I see techniques emerging as the voyage of discovery continued. Becoming familiar with the medium and learning its possible whims and nuances. You can paint a picture in as little as an hour, but mastery takes time. Some would say a lifetime. There were signs here, but much more was required before I had something that felt mine, and where I had any control of the outcome. The Lowry Centre painting has a naiveite and there’s a limited colour palette. Whether by choice or because I had limited inks. I can no longer remember. but it lends the image sophistication that excess colour can lose.

Painting of the Lowry Centre in SalfordWhen Dreams take shape by Cathy REad

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