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A Few Doreen Fletcher Paintings

January 20, 2019
by the gentle author

On the Sunday before the opening of Doreen Fletcher’s RETROSPECTIVE next week, I thought I you would show you a few of Doreen’s paintings accompanied by the stories in her own words.

All are welcome at the Private View of Doreen Fletcher’s RETROSPECTIVE at Nunnery Gallery, Bow Arts, on Thursday 24th January from 6pm. The exhibition runs until 24th March.

I am IN CONVERSATION WITH DOREEN FLETCHER on Wednesday 30th January 7pm at Nunnery Gallery, showing the paintings and telling the stories. Click here for tickets

Sheldon’s Dress Shop, Knutton, 1982

“It is my mother who is looking in the window of Sheldon’s hairdressers and dress shop. She went once a week to have her hair ‘set’. At that time, she was ten years younger than I am now but considered herself old at fifty-five and dressed accordingly. When I was a child, we used to take a walk each Sunday afternoon to places such as Knutton, a former mining village on the outskirts of Newcastle-under-Lyme. Even in such a small place, a shop like Sheldon’s could support its proprietors.”

Paddington Station at Night, 1992

“Between 1976 and 1983, when I moved to the East End, I lived in Paddington. Looking at this painting now, I am transported once more into that seventies world of tawdry glamour, medium priced hotels and run-down bedsits. The streets around the underground and mainline station all had a slightly seedy quality.”

Hairdresser, Ben Jonson Rd, 2001

“For my thirteenth birthday I was given a hair-do as a rite of passage. It was a horrifying experience and the chemical sprays that were applied to my hair resulted in a life-long aversion to the hairdresser. It was n0t just the discomfort, it was the atmosphere and ambience, and the ordeal of staring into a mirror for half an hour. This salon was part of a twenties parade of shops in Ben Jonson Rd that also contained the launderette I painted. It has been swept away.”

Ice Cream Van, Poplar, 1998

“One of the best remembered pleasures of my childhood was to hear the tinkling tune of the ice cream man that would have me running out into the street. My drawing of this parked van is waiting for the school exodus on the corner of Rhodeswell Rd and Dora St on the Lockesley Estate, Poplar.

Recently some friends visited with their five-year-old granddaughter and, at the sound of the jingle, her eyes lit up. I took her to buy an ice cream and watched with pleasure as she enjoyed the same focused delight in its consumption as I experienced decades before.”

Woodstock Terrace, Poplar, 2002

“When I was teaching at Tower Hamlets College in the nineties, I often used to walk to Chrisp St Market during my lunch break. I liked best taking the quiet road along Poplar High Street past St Matthias Church and down Woodstock Terrace. The most interesting building in the terrace was sandwiched between the end house and the betting shop on the corner of Poplar High St. It looked as if it might once have been a halt for travellers with horses, a staging post perhaps. In fact this building had been a stable and was now used as a haulage yard.

A little while after I completed my coloured pencil drawing, a ‘Dangerous Structure, Keep Off’ notice appeared. Then posters appeared heralding a campaign to save the ‘stables’  but in 2006 a demolition crew moved in and this characterful piece of Victorian architecture vanished into a pile of rubble.”

Roundabout, Turners Rd, Bow, 1990

“I started this drawing of Turners Rd as a record of the disappearance of the corner building in my painting ‘Turners Rd.’  We are looking at piecemeal demolition taking place in order to make way for the reconstruction of Turners Rd in its entirety during the nineties. Perhaps the elegant four storey houses to the rear of the drawing should have been renovated? Yet the intention was honourable – to build affordable housing for those unable to pay high private rents or get a mortgage, many of whom had large families.”




10 Responses leave one →
  1. Jill Wilson permalink
    January 20, 2019

    Looking forward to seeing the real paintings on Thursday! But sad that so many are of buildings which have been destroyed…

  2. Claire permalink
    January 20, 2019

    The more of Doreen Fletcher’s work I see the more impressed I am. Better late than never, as the saying goes. I wish I could attend her exhibition but it’s not possible, at least I can view her work here, thank you Gentle Author.

  3. Marcia Taylor permalink
    January 20, 2019

    Thank you for showing more paintings . I love them and feel as sad as you that the landscape has changed so much . Its money , money , money . I am not able to come for the private view but want to buy the book . I have been following you over the last few weeks .
    And hope to visit before the end of the exhibition.
    Thank you both .

  4. Laura Williamson permalink
    January 20, 2019

    The more I see of Doreen’s wonderful work, the more I think that in addition to the meticulous detail, atmosphere etc, they have the quality of stillness, like that found in Dutch interior paintings.

    Doreen, heartfelt good wishes for the retrospective. I wish I could be there and very much hope to see your work ‘in the flesh’ one day

  5. Ann Meacher permalink
    January 20, 2019

    Please could you tell me how one can buy Doreen Fletcher paintings and their price. Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend the exhibition but love her paintings. Best wishes for the success of the exhibition.
    Many thanks

  6. Helen Breen permalink
    January 20, 2019

    Greetings from Boston,

    GA, thanks for showcasing more of Doreen Fletcher’s lovely paintings. I particularly liked Sheldon’s Dress Shop, Knutton, 1982. The reflection of the Venetian blind in the window and the shadow of the fence to the right are most effective. The figure of her mother is quite moving also…

  7. Marcia Howard permalink
    January 20, 2019

    Wonderful, wonderful images. I am more impressed with each post shown.

  8. Ria permalink
    January 23, 2019

    Thank you for the interesting articles and paintings. I particularly love the artists use of colour.

    I hope you will be able to curate Doreen Fletcher’s paintings another time at the gallery as unfortunately I was too late to obtain a ticket which must have sold out fast.

  9. JanineB permalink
    January 23, 2019

    Look wha happened today!!!

  10. Jay permalink
    January 25, 2019

    I’m delighted to see the Knutton painting amongst the London pieces. As a Potteries expat myself, I had been wondering what Doreen’s work from her earlier North Staffordshire days would look like. I do hope you’ll share more of Doreen’s paintings from this era and area in due course. Spitalfields and Stoke-on-Trent may be worlds apart in many ways, but Doreen’s consistent work brings out unexpected commonality and humanity.
    Congratulations, GA and Doreen, on finding each other, and bringing this wonderful body of work before our eyes.

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