OLIVER BEVAN

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SCHOOL YARD

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See also large format canvases

Clapping Song

Crossover

oil on canvas 173 x 240 cm

oil on canvas 61 x 76 cm

Arch

oil on canvas 91 x 91 cm

Fly

Performance 

Escape

oil on canvas  76 x 99 cm

oil on canvas  153 x183 cm

oil on canvas 119 x 126 cm

Walking Away 

Rope I

Rope II

oil on canvas  61 x 76 cm

oil on canvas  51 x 41 cm

oil on canvas  51 x 41 cm

Playground

Common Ground

Skipping in Winter

oil on canvas 61 x 76 cm

oil on canvas 160 x 122 cm

oil on canvas  153 x 122 cm

The Playground Series 1996 - 1999

"For four years I had a studio in Wendell Park School in West London. Moving out was a wrench because the school had gradually come to be both the subject and the context for my work. The children understood what I was doing and were excited to see themselves in the paintings. For my part I wanted to treat them as figures of real importance, painting occasionally on an heroic scale.I had to pass through the playground to get to my studio which provided the kick start for this series. The children play their own games without adult interference, activities which belong to a distinct and separate culture as the Opies have demonstrated in their fascinating studies on childrens' lore. In zoological terms they are 'wild' for half an hour. This contrast between adult and child behaviour struck me more and more forcibly. While we, the adults, are fastidious about the space around our own bodies, only touching one another as a deliberate communication, the children are in continuous physical contact, holding hands, wrestling or skipping in pairs. The girls prefer more socialised games, forming groups to dance, skip or clap while the boys race, fight and kick footballs. My own childhood was unlike most of this, which is perhaps why I am so drawn to celebrate their physical energy, and cultural diversity. The variations in clothing, hairstyle and footwear, (despite the adoption of school uniform), provided visual delights made still more fascinating by the total absorption of the children in their current game." Oliver Bevan London 1999

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