Sheds and Silos

I paint landscape from life and, as I live in London, frequently the subject of the work is buildings. I chose these four images for the project for their particular rhythmical structure.

In Red Tower With Railings, the flat planes of the walls and structures are seen through a line of railings, in a more overt display of rhythm. The repeated nervous pulse of the railings overlays the long, extended notes of the scenery behind like semiquavers over minims, or semibreves on a page of music. The tower hangs above in a strident outburst like a fortissimo chord.

The high rise are like rolling chords from a Bach fugue.

The quirky shapes that form the skyline at Canary wharf has attracted me for many years. There is an amazing kind of counterpoint in the two lines of buildings – the office blocks and small private houses on the shoreline. The lines have a particular range of movement; the lower ones like an ostinato bass; the high rise like rolling chords from a Bach fugue. The river runs like ground bass underneath.

More recently I have looked at the industrial sites such as the Tate and Lyle factory in North Woolwich. The effect of these buildings is almost like a collage in their disparate shapes and colours – visual equivalents to a piece by Stravinsky or Shostakovich in their unexpected changes of colour. There are big bold sections – the sheds and silos – and delicate finessed ones, like the cranes and the timbers of the pier. The pairs of cranes and chimneys create some rhyming in this asymmetrical jumble. Yet there is a unity to the whole which has a classical feel also evocative of those composers.


The Learned Pig









The Learned Pig


This is part of RHYTHM, a section of The Learned Pig devoted to exploring rhythm as individual and collective, as poetic and biological, and the ways that rhythm dictates life. RHYTHM is conceived and edited by Rachel Goldblatt.


The Learned Pig

Alex Pemberton

Alexander Pemberton paints mainly by the Thames in Greenwich which has been for his principal subject matter for over twenty years. After graduation from Chelsea School of Art in 1981, he won a British Council Award to work in Spain and, in 1984, an Elizabeth Greenshields Award to work in Mexico. He has had solo exhibitions at Cadogan Contemporary (1992) and Chappel Galleries (2006), Abbott & Holder (2014), and has also shown in group shows at Austin Desmond Fine Art, New Grafton Gallery, Browse and Darby and Highgate Contemporary among others.