Brick layers’ labourer turned painter depicts Hackney estate

Frank Laws painting, Them Upstairs

Frank Laws painting, Them Upstairs - Credit: Archant

A brick layers’ labourer turned painter launches an exhibition today, which details a fastidious obsession with brickwork and also portrays everyday life on the Pembury estate.

Frank Laws' painting Robbery, photo Ian Cox.

Frank Laws' painting Robbery, photo Ian Cox. Conta - Credit: Archant

Frank Laws’ ink works focus on the original Pembury buildings which remain unchanged since they were built in 1938, despite the regeneration going on all around.

Mr Laws, who works from a studio in Hackney Wick, portrays the buildings’ architecture in fastidious detail, having spent a year working for a bricklayer during which he developed a deep admiration for the labour of the tradesman.

Mr Laws, who also works in New York and Paris as an in-house artist for Louis Vuitton, has been painting the Pembury since 2010.

He said: “I wanted to re-visit because of all the regeneration and gentrification going on in east London and Hackney and also because of the new build happening at Pembury Circus.

“I appreciate the hard working, everyday labour of construction and like to apply this method or ideal to my painting. Also the brick has become an aesthetic and obsessive interest for me.

“I paint estate buildings as I have an appreciation for all the work that was put into building these homes and the ideals behind them, especially post war London and Britain, and I show this appreciation through the obsessive nature of my work.

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“Also I like to glorify these type of buildings as they hold a lot of connotations for people, but I see them as positive and amazing things and also where amazing things have grown from.”

One of the larger paintings in the show of a wall from the Pembury estate was reproduced as prints so that young people could make their own mark upon them in a workshop.

Their artwork will be presented alongside the original works in the exhibition.

The exhibition will be on show in L’entrepot, Dalston Lane from March 27 until April 27 and will then be shown in Newcastle at Lazarides gallery in May.