I made a piece of work about the issues surrounding the housing rental market in London afew years ago, but with the situation now far worse, recently I've been feeling the need to make another series of paintings about this subject.
I've been reading several articles and reports with the aim of gathering information and figures relating to the private rental market and how the prices compare to average incomes.
'Private rents rose at an average annual equivalent of 7% across London in 2011'
'The rate of inflation on London private rents is 1.8 times greater than the rate of inflation on the average London wage'
'In contrast to the rises in rents, average London wages have fallen for a number of key worker professions'
Quotes from a document produced by the charity Shelter: London Rent watch: Rent inflation and Affordability in London's private rental market
Alongside the research I'm doing, I am also collecting images taken of actual adverts in estate agents windows. These will eventually form the basis of this new series of paintings.
£599 per week for this?! So you would need to be earning far more than the average salary to afford 2.6k in rent aswell as bills and other monthly outgoings...
and you wouldn't even be living in a nice home!
This 'stunning two bedroom apartment' doesn't look worth £327 per week to me...
'Gorgeous one bed flat' ?! £319 per week!
I've started working on some studies for the paintings, I'm not sure how I will paint them eventually so for now I'm experimenting, researching and collecting adverts from estate agents windows - which in this climate are not in short supply!
I'd looked at afew different artists work, George Shaw, some Lucian Freud amongst others. A friend suggested I look at Walter Sickert's interiors, I really like his paintings but hadn't considered looking at them for this series.
I thought the painting titled 'Jack the Rippers Bedroom' could almost be one of those adverts! Its just missing a price tag of £450 per week....
'Ennui' Walter Sickert 1914
|'The Camden Town Murder' (ironically this piece was previously titled 'What shall we do to pay the rent'!) Walter Sickert 1908|
'Jack the Rippers Bedroom' Walter Sickert 1908