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a life in architecture

Although he has always painted buildings, David Hepher thinks of himself as a landscape artist. It just happens that buildings comprise most of the landscape he paints. He has a particular fondness for the better tower blocks of the 1960s, even when they are weathered with graffiti; and he singles out a group on the Wyndham Comber Estate near Camberwell Green in South London, 'built like a pile of bricks ... very chunky and squarish, a happy mix of brick and concrete'.

To Hepher, tower blocks are the descendants of the Georgian Terrace - neo-classical in form, entirely functional, but vertical rather than horizontal; he attributes their bad reputation to social rather than architectural problems. 'Practical, functional, unpretentious,' are Hepher's watch words.

He admires functional buildings such as the water towers and silos that rise up out of the plain as you drive through France, and the hut-like forms and steel structures often found in mining quarries. 'They have a kind of authenticity about them', he says. When choosing which buildings to paint, Hepher tends to select the anonymous, so as to avoid producing art based on art. In his field there's a thin border line between painting architecture and painting landscape. Hepher knows which side he wants to stay on.

Deborah Singmaster

David Hepher is represented by Flowers East

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