The prerequisite for this collection was to embrace looking back to help look forward and I spent a good amount of time really thinking what memories stuck from my childhood that so many would find a connection with, as opposed to pure self-indulgence. Football has always dominated my childhood and I’ve never lost the love for the beautiful game.
I have so many vivid memories as a kid being taken to football matches by my Dad, Michael, be it Saturdays at Luton Town or long trips up to Elland Road. Yet it was the real treat when you were taken to Wembley to watch an England game, it was always about how you felt seeing those famous towers and all of the football coaches parked up that I remember more than the game itself. Coming home with a flag or sweatbands that you would cherish long after the game.
I’ve only been to the new Wembley once (all part of being a Leeds fan!) and whilst it is a magnificent arena it is nothing in comparison to the stature of seeing those towers appear. So that was the aim for this piece, to create a scene where the stadium loomed up suddenly between buildings with a real sense of magnificence. Nostalgia personified.
What we see took an absolute age as I wanted to create a perfect scenario within the London street scene. I wanted to feature an iconic green tiled boozer and a proper old-school high street shop that we can all relate to. I saw the opportunity to link nicely in with the format of ‘The Memory Remains’ and I am really pleased with how it has turned out!
The piece is actually celebrating the World Cup win of 1966 with so much of the details paying homage to the Ramsey boys who lifted the ‘Jules Rimet’, there are some really subtle but beautiful details for you to seek out. However, the more you look you realise that the scene is actually set in the late 80’s, references to ‘Live Aid’ and the Queen sell out Wembley concert all help to build the story.
Those who follow my work closely will know that I love to inject a multi-layered narrative where possible and this is the case with this piece. ‘Greavsies Rentals’ is a quirky TV rental shop like so many of us can remember. This detail in itself provided a really great quality to the scene but right from the start I had wanted to feature a reference to the wheeler and dealer Del Boy.
I had originally intended to just have his three wheeler parked up in the side street but the more personality that grew from the rentals shop and the questionable quality of the goods I chose to showcase the source of the TV’s by insinuating that it was actually Mr Trotter himself that was supplying Greavsie! It is just a wonderful bit of randomness that I feel takes this piece away from simply being able to be embraced by football fans. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did creating it.