I found myself down underneath Spaghetti Junction again today. I was on a field trip with the students to gather research material for an urban landscape project. I made this interesting I-Pad painting, fascinated by the reflections under the really wide bridge that passes over the canal underneath. It was a cold but sunny day, and I really like the upside-down trees and the dark concrete column reflected in the water.
I also like the reflection made by the underneath of the bridge in the water too, as seen in this photograph in the middle. It looks eerily like a ship is sunken and lurking deep beneath the depths. It is very disorientating when viewed from the canalside. After a while you get lost and unsure what you are looking at; what is near and what is far; what is real and what is reflected. It really draws you in. This other image with the ‘window’ reflected from above has a similar strange and unsettling depth to it. I’d like to explore these reflections further. There is a similar spot near Smethwick I frequently pass in the car, craning my neck for a better view and nearly bouncing off the kerbside as I do. I need to park up and have a closer look.
Many people I spoke to at the exhibition seemed to be presume that my recent motorway paintings were based here, but they weren’t. They were developed from a location just outside West Bromwich under the M5. I am thinking that it would be great to explore the more complex dynamic structures of Spaghetti Junction though, but returning at night and seeing what it is like with the sodium light from the motorway against the concrete and the night sky. English teacher's I've spoken to recently, tell me I need to read Ballard's 'Concrete Island' too....