I know this project is based on photography, but I have been particularly inspired by some paintings of churches that I found whilst researching into previous work and projects done around churches.

Painted in 1997, the artist John Lynch – a renowned water colourist, travelled all over Surrey painting each church he came across in the area. His watercolours focus on the architecture of the buildings and the magnificence of them. The watercolours give a pale, and subtle sense of quite magnificence, and despite the fact they are not ‘bold’ they are in a sense bold because of the magnitude of the subject.

I wanted to draw attention to Lynch’s work because of his focus on the establishing of a subject. The careful composition would have been laboured over to get the best position as he would have had to sit and paint for hours on end to achieve the results he has. His eye for composition is what has sparked my intrigue because composition is something I sometimes struggle with in big spaces such as churches or halls. I also want to draw attention to the fact that not all of his paintings are of landscape orientation and some are portrait. This is particularly notable, as normally landscapes are done in the same orientation, but he has obviously had to account for the fact that due to his position and composition, as well as the fact some churches have grander steeples, that he wants to include as much detail as he can.

His paintings are realistic views of reality and document the architecture as it would have appear in 1997. The nature of the colours he’s used make each church look quite similar to the next, yet they are still individual and easily identifiable by different markings. Lynch has covered various angles, aiming to get the best out of his work. Some images are taken straight on, some on an angle and some looking up or across to the church. This consideration of viewpoint is actually rather interesting because oftentimes it is hard to get the full essence of a structure this big into the frame of a photograph. I quite like how we do get the full view of the churches, nothing more and nothing less. They would work well photographically as good establishing shots – something for me to consider in my own work, if I want to include an establishing shot of this nature. This will depend on the direction that I take my narrative in.


For more of his work visit: http://www.surrounds-art.co.uk/surrey/surrey-churches.htm