Concrete Intention: The paintings of Mandy Payne
Mandy Payne is a Sheffield artist who is part of the Colour and Form exhibition which runs until 5 November. You can see a range of work in the exhibition here.
Many Payne is inspired by urban landscape and is drawn to locations that are often overlooked or derided. She is interested in the spaces people inhabit, the traces they leave and the capacity of places to absorb memories and experiences.
For the past 5 years Mandy Payne has been exploring Park Hill, the Grade II listed Sheffield council estate and one of Britain’s largest examples of Brutalist architecture. The site is currently undergoing regeneration with part of the estate transformed into shiny, luxury flats, whilst the rest remains boarded up and derelict. It is the un-refurbished parts of Park Hill that she finds most inspiring, where the memories and layers of the past are almost tangible. Her intention was to create observational images that spoke of the displacement of the existing communities and the transience of the urban landscape.
In her paintings, Mandy has tried to work with materials that have a physical connection to the estate itself, such as concrete and spray paint (referencing the graffiti). She has cast concrete into small canvases, working on them directly as a metaphor for the estate. The work is layered and time consuming, employing spray paints and micro masking tapes to build up flat zones of colour and then oil painting for fine detail finishing.
Mandy Payne has also investigated the same subject in print and in 2015 she was awarded a 2 year Fellowship to learn stone lithography at Leicester Print Workshop under the tutelage of expert lithographer Serena Smith along with Icelandic artist Nina Oskarsdottir. This involves direct mark making onto slabs of limestone from which multiple prints can be taken. To marry the prints with her paintings, many of the lithographs have been printed on to Japanese paper and then collaged on to concrete.