Abandoned bike painting – Who Left it?


On a trip to London, we were travelling around in a taxi when I saw this bicycle chained up against the railings. It inspired my abandoned bike painting called Neglected. Its saddle was lost, with a flat tyre and rust covered it. It’s not my first cycle painting and will probably not be my last.

I’m fascinated by abandoned bicycles, I often wonder what happened to them? Did the owners decide they no longer needed them? ‘Dispose of them’ by locking them up/ chaining them to a railing or a lamppost somewhere?

Perhaps it was because something happened?

Either good or bad, we have no idea of knowing and it’s fun speculating. I like to think they’ve been abandoned because something better came along. Perhaps a ticket to a new life or a chance to travel the world? Who knows?

The bike is obvious, you notice it immediately. Yet it’s merged with the background. On closer inspection you’ll see it has flat tyres and is missing its saddle. The whole scene is one of urban neglect and decay.
The vertical stripe of brickwork that leads up from the saddle. The broken handrail lying on the top step in the background. The chipped paintwork on the cycle stand. The spots of rust and dirt on the pavement, pieces of chewing gum merge with the cracks.

It’s a street in central London but there are no people as if they too have abandoned this doleful scene.
On first glance the picture is dark but as you look closely you’ll see tiny spots and lines of vibrant colours against the grey and dark green. The bike itself so unloved and abandoned glitters as you move your gaze across it lines of iridescent inks Mark out the areas which still shine in spite of the neglect.
Whose bike is it?
Why was it left here?
Was it an emergency, a breakdown or simple forgetfulness?
Ponder these questions as you look further into the painting.

Abandoned bike painting , Neglected was created ©2017 by Cathy-Read in Watercolour-and-Acrylic ink. The bicycle is in a London street

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