Sally Payen: Wolverhampton Riots One Year On at Wolverhampton Art Gallery

By Culture24 Reporter | 28 August 2012
An image of a grey-coloured painting of figures confronting riot police on a city street
Sally Payen, The Chase
© Sally Payen
Exhibition: Wolverhampton Riots One Year On, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton, until October 19 2012

Last summer’s riots reached the streets around Wolverhampton Art Gallery. Once they’d been able to open the doors safely again, the gallery team decided to commission Sally Payen, a contemporary painter tutored at the Royal College of Art, to use the unwitting wealth the unrest left behind – of CCTV and internet footage, video, newspaper images and social media – to respond to what happened.

An image of a grey painting with figuratively painted people walking around a street
Pied Piper
© Sally Payen
Payen’s blurred works (“teetering on the edge of abstraction,” according to curator Matt Price) are influenced by historic battle scene paintings.

They touch on the sense of anarchy we became used to seeing at the time, casting figurative figures against urban architecture in muted greys and washed-out traces of yellow, blue and red.

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