Travelling Through: Platform Two (1985), Steve Whitehead (b. 1960)

Installation view of Platform Two (1985) by Steve Whitehead
Oil and alkyd paint on canvas
School of Art Museum and Galleries, Aberystwyth University
Gift: Contemporary Art Society for Wales, 2000

Asked about Platform Two, Whitehead replied that his painting was inspired by his journeys to and from Aberystwyth during his time as a student here.  The scene depicted is based primarily on the railway station in Whitehead’s hometown of Nuneaton in Warwickshire.

Few students had cars in the 1970s and ‘80s, Whitehead recalled.  Since he did not drive, he ‘spent a lot of time on railway platforms.’  Platform Two is peopled with travellers Whitehead had ‘seen en route.’

Whitehead was ‘keen’ at the time on German and Scandinavian Romanticism and Biedermeier painting, along with US American Regionalism and Magic Realism, Surrealism as well as Photorealism.  Platform Two charts this art historical journey of discovery.

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