The social housing estates of East London have been a great subject matter for the many writers and artists who explored the human stories that intertwine with their communities. However, in the paintings of this East Londoner artist, Frank Laws, there does not seem to be a human being in sight.
The only signs of life are curtains flapping at open windows and the luminescent glow emanating from inside a home. Blocks of flats that teem with life in, say, Plan B’s film and album Ill Manors, stand eerily quiet and vacant in Laws’s images.
Laws was born in a village in Norfolk but hated the rural quiet. “I was always scared of the dark in the countryside,” says the 37-year-old. “I’m still scared of it.” It’s this fear, and Laws’ love of film noir, that informs the dramatic, Edward Hopperesque lighting in Laws’ meticulously detailed watercolour and acrylic paintings.
But more than these being beautiful paintings, Laws wants to raise awareness to the people of what has happened, and what is happening to these estates.
Find out more over at The Guardian.
(Image Credit: Lucid Plane/ The Guardian)