If you want to know about a city, you ask its inhabitants and those who work in it. We’ve gone one step further however.  We’ve asked the talented Southwark-based artists who are exhibiting at our current exhibition – London Bridge Hotel OPEN 3: Urban Nature, to explain how London and in particular, the Borough of Southwark, continually inspires them and their artistic endeavours and how visitors might tap into this important city of culture.

This is Gail Seres-Woolfson’s London.

How does living or working in Southwark inspire your artworks? – My practice is an enquiry into the urban landscape.  I love the dynamism of Southwark, with the constant construction and the sharp contrasts of old and new, brick and glass, busy pavements and quiet tucked away alleys and green spaces.

What attraction or aspect of Southwark would you recommend to a visiting tourist? – Bermondsey Street is just a few minutes walk from London Bridge Station and has some lovely architecture, independent shops, cafés and galleries and also the celebrated White Cube Gallery with incredible exhibitions by leading contemporary artists. White Cube is also free to visit so really there’s every incentive to drop by!

Does the long history of the Borough have any legacy bearing on your work, given South of the River was always the haunt of the artistic community? – I hadn’t realised that British influential painter David Bomberg taught at Borough Polytechnic in the 40’s and 50’s and is so closely related to the area. I have a strong interest in Modernism and very much admire Bomberg’s work.

How important, as an artist, is it to be in the capital? – I was born in the capital and my artistic practice focuses on observation and re-imagining of the spaces and structures in the city – I find endless inspiration on my doorstep. London has lots of opportunities for artists and I feel incredibly lucky to be developing my career here.

Do exhibitions such as London Bridge Hotel OPEN 3: Urban Nature help to publicize your work/help your artistic CV?Absolutely! It’s a pleasure and privilege to show my work at the London Bridge Hotel. It’s wonderful that so many people passing through the space can see and enjoy the artwork and it’s been great to be connected up with other artists living or working in the area.

What do you love most about what artworks you produce?  – My exploration of urban space has taken me further and further into abstraction and the use of collage. I create pieces with imagery and textures that feel familiar, but at the same time have an openness and unpredictability to them. When I begin a piece I have no idea what it will end up looking like – I begin with a fragment of photography or a few drawing lines, and then continue to add and layer shapes and lines, rotating, revealing and concealing spaces and structures and being led by intuition and chance visual connections. Even though it can be challenging, I love this process of making and I’m always excited to bring something new into being!

Urban Seabed, Gail Seres-Woolfson

Gail’s artwork, Urban Seabed, is displayed in Quarter Bar & Lounge. Mixed media on board and sized at 25 cm x 31 cm, the artwork is priced at £600 and is available for purchase.

gailsereswoolfson.com / gailsereswoolfson@gmail.com

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