|St Brides, Fleet Street, linocut (c) artist|
|St Michaels Paternoster, linocut, (c)artist|
ORSO MAJOR GALLERY
Janet Brooke's linocut on the right gives the strong sensation of walking though shady narrow streets which suddenly burst out into the bustle of Fleet Street and the Strand. A quiet peaceful stroll bumps into the cacophony of traffic. Cool shade in the foreground is replaced by sunlight, as if a theatre curtain has been lifted. And after the restraint of buildings which close in on you, you suddenly realise that the sky has been there all the time.
St Brides was destroyed in the great Fire of London in 1666, then rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren. In 1940, St Brides fell victim once again to flames as German incendiary bombs reduced the church to a roofless shell. This time 17 years elapsed before rebuilding was complete. Archaeologists uncovered amid the skeletal ruins the foundations of all six churches previously on the site.
I featured a very different version of a city church, Christ Church Spitalfields, in Blog 168. Hawksmoor and Pepsi painted by Jock McFadyen. The artist was living and working in the East End. He writes ‘St Anne’s Limehouse was a 3 minute walk…standing as a counterpoint (to) a landscape of mediocrity I couldn’t resist making a series of paintings to celebrate the contrast'. The painting It was on show at the Royal Academy, when it ceebrated the 350th anniversary of the birth of another famous architect Nicholas Hawksmoor (1662 –1736).
Janet Brooke is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers ( RE ) and a founder member of East London Printmakers.