Work: 1 Optimism Revisited
Whilst working on a project in Margate throughout 2012 Paul Greenleaf was inspired to develop this series of work depicting idealised skies. The British painter JMW Turner spent many years there and famously once described the skies as ‘… the loveliest in all Europe’.
This work features new compositions derived from old postcards and a series of new photographs. In each example the skies have been manipulated to appear almost uncannily blue and flawless. Intended as a relief to grey reality they act as a hope for the future whilst simultaneously implying themes of nostalgia and memory.
Utilising the convention of the picture postcard trope (quasi-mediterranean blue skies) the pictures suggest idyllic moments when things appear bright and positive. These moments whilst only fragile and transitory may also be seen as recurring and timeless. The skies in the postcards never really existed and perhaps neither did the mood they encompass but in these pictures both can be revisited.
The prints are designed to gradually fade when subjected to sunlight and slowly deteriorate throughout the exhibition emulating the fragile transient nature of these moments.
Optimism Revisited exhibited outside Tower Hamlets police stations as part of Photomonth 2012.