These Silent Walks Are But Harnessed Stampedes

For this painting my friends and family modelled for me, it was painted with a lot of love and compassion. However there has been no flattery in this painting. Indeed it is impossible for me to paint my fellow humans, let alone those I care for, indifferently.

I have painted them hoping to capture some of their individual features and characteristics. But above that I have brought them together in order to paint a portrait of a wider social class that they are a part of, old and young, black and white of every colour and creed they make this diverse working class of London.

I hope to have done them justice in this group portrait, and reached a deeper level than the one dimensional “working class” stereotypes presented in the media designed to make us disassociate with the term. 

The Title was borrowed from Ishmalie Blagrove who used the Phrase ‘Harnessed Stampedes’ to describe the monthly Silent Justice for Grenfell marches.

We Don't Know What We Are Making

Aesthetically beautiful with an unreal quality. The figures inhabit a strange landscape of saturated colour. The title of the artworks asks what they are making. The lines look as if they could be those of the stock market casting shadows over the scenery. The work was inspired by a report from a factory in china where the workers had never seen the final product they were producing.

Shale Lake Romance

Converting shale into energy is accompanied by the formation of process waste waters containing Phenols, Tar and several other products. This results in an extraordinary effect on the colour of the water. These paintings where painted after Baldion gained privileged access to a shale Lake in Estonia. Whilst being officially off limits to the public the unusual beauty of the place has attracted courting couples in love.

Murder Not Tragedy

Construction

Unusually for a group of paintings based on the construction of a shale power plant the grand architecture is not the focus. Instead Baldion draws our attention elsewhere. In ‘new road’ two isolated workers inhabit a landscape that seems too large for them, our eyes are encouraged to enjoy the little shifts of colour and detail in the largely ochre ground. The recurring use of an aerial view point adds a voyeuristic aspect to the paintings with the figures wholly unaware of themselves so intently observed. Who is the viewer? Where are they looking from? Staring outside the window of the office, a fellow construction worker looking on his colleagues? The combined effects of these paintings are a discreet sense of alienation and longing.

Coal

From Above

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© Nicholas Baldion