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Clive Baxter is an unusual artist - he's colour blind, but he tells Rosy Moorhead this has made him focus on shape, form and tone to create his architectural pictures
The ink drawings of Pinner artist Clive Baxter are striking enough in themselves – highly detailed, black and white images of buildings that focus on the materials and construction methods. But they are all the more remarkable when you realise that Clive hasn’t rendered them in black and white merely for effect – he is colour blind and his work reflects his colour challenged world.
“It’s definitely influenced my career choice and the way I draw,” says Clive, who, before turning to art, was a design and technology teacher for almost 30 years. His condition – he has difficulty distinguishing between red and green hues - means that when he looks at a building he takes in its shape, form and tone, where a normal-sighted person would focus mainly on its colour and shape.
Clive couldn’t have found a more appropriate home for his architecture and design inspired artwork than the 17th Century Grade II listed The Attic gallery. Situated above Lines of Pinner, the bespoke interior design shop on the High Street, The Attic is all exposed beams and sloping walls – perfect for Clive’s exhibition, New York, London, Paris, Pinner – A Sketchpad’s Journey, a series of small-scale pictures that are a cross between architectural drawings and sketching.
For this solo exhibition, Clive’s first, he is displaying 44 pieces of his work, many of which are of buildings in Pinner.
“I focus mainly on the High Street because it’s got that kind of typically English character in architecture,” says Clive, 50, “all different periods but all recognisably English. You see lots of watercolours on this but I wanted to document the buildings of Pinner in a different style. “ “Buildings stand still but people keep moving,” says Clive. “Pick the Eiffel Tower, for example: people move around it to look at it from different angles. When you look at people looking at buildings, they move their heads. My art tries to do that, to make it a bit more dynamic. When people look at my work and move their heads, I know they’re engaging with it.”
New York, London, Paris, Pinner – A Sketchpad’s Journey is at The Attic gallery, above the Lines of Pinner shop, High Street, Pinner from Wednesday, June 13 to Thursday, June 28, Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5.30pm. Details: 020 88662462, www.linesofpinner.co.uk/theattic