Interesting news from Vancouver, where a five feet by eight feet drawing of Maryon Park is the lead piece in an art exhibition in the Canadian city. It took artist Adrian Walker five years to complete the piece after visiting Charlton in 2006.
Like many other visitors, Walker was alerted to the South London park’s beauty through its appearance in the 1966 Michelangelo Antonioni movie “Blow Up”. He knew he would one day create a painting of Maryon Park. The scene became an obsession, realised during a 2006 visit to London to attend the Jeff Wall exhibition at the Tate Modern. An assistant to Wall in the early 1990s, Walker is now an Instructor in the Media Arts, Art & Technology in tertiary education.
“I’d already seen a series of photographs of Maryon Park taken for ‘Blow Up’,” says Walker.
“Confronting Jeff Wall’s large-scale black and white photographs at the Tate Modern gave me the final impetus I needed to embark on the project.”
Walker visited Maryon Park, taking numerous photographs. On his return to Canada he re-worked them in Photoshop to give the image a menacing and brooding feeling in line with the enigmatic movie scene. The next phase was sketches and drawings. “ I proceeded to develop several studies in oil on masonite. These suggested to me the scale and overall palette,” says Walker.
The artist chose graphite powder as his medium as he liked the tactile feeling of working powdered pigment with his fingers. It was also a way of imparting a sense of depth and gesture onto the 40 square foot canvas. “From the early stages , it was clear I would end up building this image up through many successive layers of graphite powder.” he says. The final black and white execution is a compliment to the imposing character of Maryon Park and its starring role in Blow Up.
If you happen to be in Vancouver, the exhibition is at Walker’s school, York House, until 10 November.