London-based artist, Andy Wicks, has probably walked 50 miles along the Thames with camera in hand, patrolling from Kew in the west to Thamesmead out east, capturing images to inspire his painting and, almost accidentally, learning heaps about London's riverside history.
Always keen on 'ambiguous and decaying structures' his recent work has focused on mooring constructions in the Thames. These 'dolphins' lurk arbitrarily in the water, decrepit, mysterious, unused and polluted, all different shapes, made of different materials and most unlike the marine animal for which they are named. They are - in short - fascinating*.
Andy has created a series of paintings capturing these objects adrift from their usual environment. His method is two-step, creating the background first - often a muddy-watery effect, mixing resins and thinned oil, moving the canvas around to get the swirling, eddying effect — then painting the contrasting foreground object with precise brushstrokes to show off the architectural lines.
The names of these paintings come from "the Atlantic list of Hurricane names where each storm has its name taken from a list of alternating male and female names."
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*If you remember our photo competition from last year — Thames Barrier to Teddington — you might be reminded of one of the commended photos by Chris Tubb