Notes on Wolverhampton: Riots One Year On – Sally Payen

Anna Falcini emailed me these reflections on my show – thanks very much.  Last year a great friend, and my painting tutor from when I did my degree at Brighton Polytechnic died – Jack Smith – his wife Susan Smith  gave me Jack’s paints – these were used in these paintings – a flash of much brighter colour here and there – took me somewhere different  – I like the feeling these paintings were made with inherited colour.

anyway thanks Anna (and Jack)

Notes on Wolverhampton Riots: One Year On – Sally Payen

Stepping in to the gallery was both intimate and powerful; within the space, fragments of the event unfolded, taking siege of the audience in a space.


I liked the way the figure (?) in the foreground melts under duress from the effect of being overpainted, imposed upon by a new figure.

The scene has a translucency to it, a sense of a moment that has passed, a fracture of despair. It is a fable that is retold but in the retelling, changes mutate into something beyond the original actions. An enlightenment and a lens.

Generally the colours in the paintings intrigued me because they have a muted, soft tone except for flashes of cerise or red. It reminded me of paintings from the genre of Romanticism. Tintoretto colours. It challenged the raw, gritty and violent scenes that were relayed via the media during the events.

I like the ink drawings on vellum very much. I enjoyed the spatiality of them, the way the paper sucks up the liquid and wrinkles slightly, disturbing the surfaces which reflected the consequences of the physical nature of the events. My own perspective of the riots was seeing the events from a 360 degree vision from transmitted images, yet never being there or directly involved. I don’t know the back stories, the intricacies of lives that were battered or reduced to rubble, before, during or after the riots.

The work Riot has a biblical connotation for me, like a scene of figures clustering around an apostle. One of my favourite pieces.


Anna Falcini


Posted in Uncategorized.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s