Ed Gray Art




20.000 Streets Under the Sky, a London Odyssey


I can compare the process for producing these paintings to being like waking from a deep sleep and opening your eyes for the first time. Things fall into focus and then retain order. These paintings start from the chaos of drawings culled from observation, memories and photographs. They begin as messy charcoal drawings, just lines and shapes initially. Then they find their colours and their own order and sense of rhythm and sound and they begin to sing.


In ‘20,000 Streets’ I wanted to map the seasonal changes of London and explore how these changes effected its people as they live out their lives in work and leisure. I feel very lucky living in London where every new face I see is a potential new character to paint.


I spend time visiting locations and making drawings there to get a feel for the area, observing the characters and how they interact with the architecture around them. A last visit is made to photograph what I have not seen. Everything is important and the more you look the more you see.


 The composition is created in the studio and I try and put aside all the information I have and work from what I remember. My approach to painting is much like that of a journalist in the sense that I research these scenes very carefully. My father was a writer and was able to create scenes and events from words. And being the youngest of a large family I listened to those around me.


The title for this exhibition ‘20,000 Streets Under the Sky’ comes from a book by Patrick Hamilton that explores the worlds of three interconnected London Characters in the 1930s. Each world is inextricably linked in the claustrophobia of city life and yet all three characters remain isolated from a true understanding of each other.   The exhibition has also been inspired by the paintings of Edward Burra, Stanley Spencer, William Hogarth, Caravaggio, Raphael, Bellini and Piero della Francesca.


Apollo11,  1000x800

Apollo 11, Liverpool Grove Walworth

Brockwell Kiss,  1000x800

Brockwell Lido

Spring Regents,  1015x760

Spring in Regents Park

Waterloo Sunset,  1000x750

Waterloo Sunset

Fishermen,  800x600

Fishermen in Burgess Park, Peckham

Running Man,  800x600

Running man in Burgess Park, Peckham

Wintery Morning 1,  900x700

Wintry morning, London Bridge 2

Wintery Morning 2,  900x700

Wintry morning, London Bridge 2

Foggy Night,  900x700

Foggy day in London Town. Jimmy Cannon at the Bull´s Head, Barnes

Nightkitchen1, 760x760

Nightkitchen 1, Sonny´s Barnes

Nightkitchen 2, 760x760

Nightkitchen 2, Sonny´s Barnes

Last Bus,  760x760

Last bus on the Old Kent Road