Reuben Powell is the Artist in Residence in The Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre. The first covered shopping centre in Britain, though often derided is a diverse lively place. Reuben's studio/gallery is large shop lent to him by St Modwen, the owners.
Continuing with his project to document the regeneration of the Elephant and Castle, Reuben is exhibiting his drawings of the area.
The regeneration of the Elephant and Castle is the largest regeneration scheme of its kind in Europe. The area will be profoundly changed over the coming years. As a resident of the area for more than 20 years Reuben has some understanding as well as some affection for this often maligned part of London.
The exhibition is made up of a series of large-scale drawings executed in graphite and oil on paper and smaller works painted on discarded oil tins using bitumen and oil paint. They are produced from extensive research taken from the neighbourhood and then brought to the Shopping Centre studio to be developed into the finished pictures.
The pictures are imbued with a sense of urgency. They are vibrant, rapidly produced images reflecting the scale and speed of change in the Elephant and Castle. They challenge ideas of conventional reportage while expanding the range of the traditional painted medium. There is a depth to the work, it is accessible to all on many levels.