Rye Lane Snail Merchant, After Parmigianino

Nawailah, Age 17

  • Painting
  • Watercolour paint and fineliner pens on canvas
  • 1016(w) 812.8(h) 15(d) mm

When creating this piece, I wanted to propose a thoughtful reaction against the idea of figurative work laying claim to authenticity, based mainly on the nature of the work’s subject and resisting a drive towards postmodern humour. Without denouncing those ways of working, I also wanted to question whether it is possible to approach a 21st century context via the traditional tools of the picturesque, without recourse to irony, seeming authenticity or sentimentality. To establish what it means to consider the chosen subject via that gaze of an earlier era, I have created a personal response based on Dutch/Italian mannerist paintings of fishmongers, and The Courtauld Institute’s collection of work from Parmigianino, including shellfish sketches. In particular, I like Parmigianino’s energetic quality to his work through the use of materials like pen and ink, and brown washes. Therefore, I have painted the snail merchant at Rye Lane, Peckham.