Walking In the 18th (Paris Collection) by Tim Garner

Walking In the 18th (Paris Collection) by Tim Garner
Walking In the 18th (Paris Collection) by Tim Garner

A painterly glimpse into one of the world’s most iconic cities, ‘Walking the 18th’ by Tim Garner is part of the artist’s Paris Collection. This collection reflects the artist’s time divided between Paris and Manchester and portrays Garner’s impressive ability to capture a serene snapshot in time through painting.

In Tim Garner's 'Walking the 18th', we are given a warm, inviting glimpse into a Parisian Spring. Part of Garner's Paris Collection, works such as this fondly reflect his time there - Garner spent over 20 years living in Paris, and his family currently reside there. The title is a reference to the 18th Arrondissement of Paris, which is centred around the iconic Montmartre - this image depicts the North side of Montmartre, painted on a hot day in Spring. In contrast to many of Garner's paintings that are from a bird’s eye perspective, in this piece we are positioned on ground level, walking alongside the locals - the shadows from the tall trees tower over us, giving the effect that we are being shadowed from the sun ourselves. Despite this, it is an optimistic painting - we are given a hopeful glimpse of the beaming sun above, with Garner’s signature vivid skies peering through the leaves. Garner’s compositions are made up of a formula of mixed ground paints and materials such as metals and cement, layered rigorously to create textured and visceral compositions. This layering can take any time between 10 days and 3 weeks to complete, a process through which Garner perseveres until he feels his works come to life. “It’s all about getting to a point where it could breathe” However, differently to some of his grittier works, this piece is less concerned with cement, and feels more painterly. We are reminded of Garner’s impressive ability as a painter, with attention to detail in elements such as the concrete pavement and vehicles in the distance. These elements are vital to the overall piece, even if they are only suggestions of the subjects they are conveying. Passers-by are painted with vague faces, a reminder of the volume of people in the city, parallel to Garner’s depiction of pedestrians in his Manchester cityscapes. The vertical poles and tree trunks guide us upwards to the flecks of sunlight and the hazy leaves, giving the effect that the trees are moving in the breeze. This is a calming piece, contrasting to the movement of some of Garner’s Manchester cityscapes – perhaps a reflection of the difference in the pace of life between the two cities? This piece is undoubtedly Parisian, and parallel to Garner’s works of the North, it provides a snapshot into everyday life in Paris, highlighting the mundane, anti-landmarks of the city, as opposed to only its famous monuments. It's these elements that make Garner's works so distinctive, and imbue an honesty within his oeuvre.

Based in his home studio in Stockport, Tim Garner is an artist who captures cityscapes through his own avant-garde lens. Inspired from his time living between Manchester and Paris, Garner works from photography and photo collage as his primary references, taking advantage of their visual immediacy and accuracy. Paint and cement are then used as a way of injecting emotive layers of meaning, forming Garner's distinctive style and flair. Through this process Garner has established his own visual language, which is imbued with character; this artwork would be a valuable asset for any contemporary art space, collection or home.