Friday, 2 May 2008

Through the Keyhole - Christopher Noulton

Ten years ago, artist Christopher Noulton bought a wreck of an Art Deco house in London which he and his partner have since restored back to it's former glory. Many of the original curved Crittall windows were badly corroded and had to be replaced on a "like for like basis" , the remaining ones were lovingly stripped back to metal and restored. Having spent the last 25 years working as a television production designer, Christopher really wanted to push the interior to have a more luxurious feel. To achieve this he made many pieces for the house including circular perspex ceiling lights, curved staircases, round toggle light switches, glass block walls, and even a new streamlined front door (which features along with the front of the house in his painting: "Doorstep Blooms" - above).

The house was built in 1937 and sits, along with several others (no longer identical) on what was once the site of a huge Victorian house
and it's garden which was cleared to make way for this development. Christopher and his partner are virtually the last people in the street to have resisted the temptation to replace the original windows with modern glazing, as they feel they have retained the purity of the "Modern Style." Christopher says "It's a shame that there are no photographs in existence of our street when it was first built, as it must have looked amazing to have seen rows of houses identical to ours! I still get double glazing salesmen trying to convince me of the benefits of replacing what they refer to as the "antiquated" metal windows, but trying to convince them that they were the reason we bought the house just seems to leave them bemused". It was difficult to decide how far to go with the styling of the interior, as it is after all just a "three bedroom semi" but Christopher thinks they have added just enough pizzaz without going over the top.

Art Deco architecture crops up in many of Christopher's paintings. From his studio in Putney (a converted undertakers coffin store) Christopher tends to paint with a strong nostalgic feel for the past, and with regard to his visual style, he draws inspiration from the commercial art of the 1960s, especially cigarette cards and Ladybird books.

Christopher exhibited at the Brighton Art Fair in 2007 and got off to a flying start when he was awarded first prize in the "Architecture in Art" competition being held in conjunction with the Hove Civic Society. This led to him accepting a commission from Bluestorm Ltd., to produce a large painting of "Embassy Court", the famous Art Deco apartment block on Brighton sea front which was recently restored by Sir Terence Conran and partners (see the "News" section of Christopher's website). Embassy Court was designed in 1935 by Wells Coates and this glamorous building was once home to the actor Rex Harrison and the comedian Max Miller. We are delighted that Christopher will be exhibiting with us again this year.

1 comment:

SeLFs said...

i LoVe iT wheN PeopLe saVe thE pasT..wisH theRe weRe moRe piCs