By Nick Richards
This last year or so, the evening stroll came back in fashion. Cometh the violet hour, we glimpse through lighted windows other rooms, other lives.
This is your neighbourhood. Sydenham and Penge.
Pissarro’ s Avenue, streets stalked by Shackleton.
This mood is captured in an exhibition of small scale paintings by local artist Darren Hayman at the delightful Bluebelle Cafe, home of the Penge Pasty.
Hayman ‘s acrylic nocturnes have the melancholy stillness of Edward Hopper coupled with an almost Mondrianesque minimalism.
The familiar made strange.
The local becomes magical.
Closely cropped architectural details form abstracted compositions.
Buses float down empty streets.
These paintings are unpopulated, yet we sense the human presence.
Perhaps we even recognise our own homes amongst those on display?
The evening stroll.
The last dog walk of the day.
Bluebelle Cafe, 182 Maple Rd, Penge SE20 8JB
Until 15th August, Thurs to Sun 9am to 5.30pm