This might just be one of our favourite ever images of the area. After all, who hasn’t passed over Kentish Town railway bridge a million times, and stopped to gawp at a reddening sunset or an icy blue sky?
“The view from the station looking north is one that will always stop me in my tracks,” says artist Marc Gooderham. “The skyline, free from cranes and soulless glass towers, could be one of London’s most romantic compositions. With the foreboding Assembly House pub looming, reminiscent of an Edward Hopper painting or a Hitchcock film, it’s both beautiful yet sinister.”
And there’s an eerie sense of isolation too in his painting. “I wanted to recreate a sense of the loneliness often found in the city,” he says, “while still maintaining a certain warmth and atmosphere. In London sometimes the only companion you need is the glow of a street lamp or a reflection on the Thames.”
For Marc, an “obsession with the city and its less-celebrated nooks and crannies” has long been a theme. “Taking to the streets and alleyways,” he says, “I’m always looking to cover fresh ground. The main goal here is to capture a moment in time.”Marc Gooderham has always and worked in the capital, having recently crossed the river to reside in leafy Brockley. “The city is the main source of inspiration for me,” he says, “with London’s grey, unsettling skies creating the perfect backdrop.”
He’s not always been an artist, however: in the 90s he temporarily exchanged paint brushes for drum sticks and released a number of albums and singles as part of the bands Baptiste and Kelman – to what he calls commercial indifference. “Though”, he says, “there were some quite nice reviews”.
Following this sabbatical in the heady world of rock n’ roll he’s since returned to his first love: drawing and painting. Whether it’s creating an iconic image of NW5, or a backstreet in Soho, he tries “to capture a certain sadness in the buildings, drawing attention to parts of the city that are ignored on a daily basis. Above our heads are the shop fronts of crumbling and faded grandeur that most of us pass by without a second glance. But their stillness also invites contemplation – of the lives once lived here, and the new lives that continue to do so.”