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Castletown, Police Station

Date made: 1996

Artist: Sayle, Norman

Description: Paintings of Castletown Police Station usually look at the building straight on so as to highlight its distinctive architectural design. In contrast, Sayle paints from a low position, looking-up from the harbour providing us with only a partial and obscured view of this wonderful building. In order to identify the subject we are made to study the painting more closely and by doing so reconsider our recognition of the everyday buildings around us when viewed from a different perspective.

'Castletown, Police Station' is painted with little sense of depth. The work instead displays a graphic quality as the various compositional elements – Police Station, wall, quayside – are formed as a series of shapes or blocks of muted colours. The view is truncated with nothing, whether a car or the Police Station, shown in its entirety. We are left feeling that we are looking at an arbitrary snapshot of real life rather than a carefully composed scene. The rest of life could still be going on if we could only peek beyond the edge of the picture frame.

Castletown, the ancient capital of the Isle of Man, is a popular place for artists to work, although the most common views are usually of the harbour and Castle Rushen. In this watercolour Norman Sayle has chosen to focus on a different landmark. Castletown Police Station was designed by the Arts and Crafts architect, Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott in 1901 to complement the form of the adjacent medieval castle.

Measurements: artwork: 36.5 cm x 54.5 cm

Materials: Watercolour on paper

Object name: watercolour painting

Collection: Art Collection

ID number: 1997-0080

Subject tags : #artgalleryplace


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