Heading west to Pinner I was excited about seeing the progress of the Face of Health project in the studio/shed of David Harker. David has been working with the Free Space Gallery and the Kentish Town Health Centre for four or five months now. Visiting the health centre regularly to get to know those working there and produce paintings from his photographs. After a fortifying tortilla complete with tomato and cucumber we headed out to his special painting space.
Through the steamed up kitchen window I looked out into the back garden. Picking our way past the hawthorn bushes and across the damp grass David drew back the door of the shed/studio. It makes me muse on all the sheds in little gardens and the wonderful industrious activity going on in these seemingly innocuous structures.
As the door creaks into submission my eyes are once again flooded with faces familiar and strange to me. David flips the switch on the heater and we sit snuggly with a cup of tea in the studio. David shows me his sketch books full of faces and people, the room protected from the winter weather through plastic cladding, is filled with the echos of the outside world.
As this project progresses David visits the Kentish Town Health Centre and records the faces of those who work there. He comes to know what it is to be daily in such a busy place filled with individual narratives. For both parties, the free Space Gallery and David, this has been a journey which will continue for a few more months.
His work will be on display from April this year and there will be a chance to come and hear him talk about his experiences.
So bear in mind when you pass a shed in the future it is not just air fix modelling and storing of shovels that goes on in these wooden havens!