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Art

#landscape#Lee Madgwick#nature#painting

Mystery Abounds in Lee Madgwick’s Uncanny Paintings of Derelict Buildings

July 19, 2023

Grace Ebert

Grass appears to be growing upwards onto a small brick house in the middle of a field

“The Veil.” All images © Lee Madgwick, shared with permission

A sense of unease surrounds the buildings in Lee Madgwick’s paintings, their sides crumbling or coated in thick vegetation as they stand alone in fields or swamps. The neglected structures appear lifted from cities and towns and dropped directly into rural landscapes, where nature slowly envelops their brick facades or sprouts trees from their eaves. “I’m forever drawn to places of abandonment and isolation,” Madgwick tells Colossal. “I’m compelled to explore these enigmatic wonders. There’s a poignancy and an unwavering silence and fragility that hangs in the air.”

Containing only remnants of human life, the scenes prompt questions about the buildings’ origins and caretakers. Some pieces, like “The Veil,” depict a home long-deserted by inhabitants as thick vines cover the lower windows, while others like “Fen View” suggest that people remain, as a small window is neatly trimmed out of an overgrown hedge.

Working in what he terms “imagined realism,” the artist uses a mix of water-mixable oil and acrylic paints layered during the course of several weeks. “The skies are painted with the palms of my hands and fingertips. It’s the most expressive part of the process,” he shares. “Together with a brooding sky and concentrated light a sense of drama is formed and a narrative is set in motion.”

Madgwick has a solo show slated for October at Brian Sinfield Gallery in Burford, Oxfordshire. Until then, find his work on Instagram and shop limited-edition prints on his site. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

Overgrown hedges are cut to reveal a house window in the center of the foliage

“Fen View”

Water rises around a stately brick home

“The Flood”

A round brick home rests atop a concrete base with a janky ladder ascending toward the entrance

“Summer House”

A brick gate like building stands at the end of a road with nothing behind it

“Gatehouse”

A mishmash of buildings with graffiti stands in a round tower surrounded by a fence in the middle of a field

“Kingdom”

A small piece of a building facade with a tunnel for a river to run through stands in the middle of a field, a boat in the foreground

“Fragments”

#landscape#Lee Madgwick#nature#painting

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