Robert Soden paints directly from the subject, continuing and often subverting the topographical tradition of artist's such as Cotman, Girtin and Turner, making paintings that are political commentaries on the contemporary urban landscape. Over the last 15 years Soden has been engaged in a series of paintings that chart the changes to Sunderland at various stages of its redevelopment.
Reflective surfaces have historically presented a challenge for a painter; Sunderland City of Glass features a series highlighting glass in its many architectural guises. From buildings that appear to be constructed almost entirely from glass (as in our own National Glass Centre); to paintings of retail parks at night where stores use coloured light in their windows to attract passing trade; to a more intimate relationship with glass, as both a barrier and invitation, as with Muller’s the bakers window where the cakes are made all the more enticing by the glazing which both attracts us to and separates us from the objects of our desires.
Photo: Colin Davison