Since they are the only structure that exists solely to unite, it's difficult to describe any bridges without using metaphor. This is particularly true of David Parfitt's lushly painted Thameside views, because they often feature bridges, specifically Kew Railway Bridge, which literally runs past his studio.
He began painting this uniquely panoramic part of West London around 1980, when he moved to Strand-on-the-Green. Since his studio home is directly adjacent to it, to Parfitt, this bridge has become more than a landmark - it's practically an entity. The complex beauty of its lattice-truss construction (one of the UK's rare surviving examples) appears in his work as both solid form and subtle shadows cast along the Strand, the riverbank and the nearby island.
Painting both on site and in his studio, Parfitt realises nuances of light, season and local activity both upstream, downstream and even across the water. His work specifically continues technical and stylistic innovations in British plein-air painting that stretch from Turner to Whistler, Pissarro, Sisley and Monet. And as Parfitt himself noted: “I think that’s something people often overlook about the Impressionists, just how aware they were of industry.”
The exhibition includes over 80 oils capturing the unique tidal atmosphere of his riverside home and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with an analysis of the artist's technique and inspiration.
Saturday 24th January, 12pm: David Parfitt will give a talk on his work and method. RSVP to Adriana Waite (firstname.lastname@example.org; 020 7437 5545).