London Souls Enliven Crypt

A new exhibition of paintings and drawings, London Souls by London artist Ed Gray opened in a crypt yesterday.


I came across it purely by chance but I'll certainly be returning.


Afternoon in the Cross by Ed Gray
Afternoon in the Cross by Ed Gray

Gray has been compared to, and cites his artistic influences as including Diego Rivera, LS Lowry, Edward Hopper, Edward Burra, Stanley Spencer, William Hogarth, Breughl, Pireo dela Francesca and the Tintin cartoons of Herge. Quite a diverse and heavy-weight crew but his works live up to the illustrious comparisons.


Nighthawks Charing Cross by Ed Gray
Nighthawks Charing Cross by Ed Gray

Keen observation, compassion, humour, a social conscience and an evident love of his subject are present in every work. He presents a vision of London that I can genuinely identify with.


I can think of no other artist who so clearly and authentically offers a view London in the 21st Century. He manages to distil and clarify the daily experience of wandering around the city and present this experience back to we wanderers with an irresistible and engaging wit.


In a statement on his website Gray says:

I paint cities and people. First and foremost I paint about London, my city. These paintings are celebrations of the people and places that I walk through with my sketchbook. My aim is to expose the rich contrasts of modern city living, the excitement and vitality that glitters through the grime of the contemporary urban landscape. This work is an ongoing narrative chronicling the cycle of decay and renewal of the modern city.

Last Bus (Old Kent Road) by Ed Gray
Last Bus (Old Kent Road) by Ed Gray

The works document scenes of London life all over town from Brixton to Camden and Canary Wharf to Notting Hill. Most works are Gicleé prints of the original paintings but there is one stunning painting Bar Italia (Golden Day) and there are also many of Gray's preparatory drawings.


The exhibition is being held in the crypt of St Pancras Church on Euston Road.


To visit the atmospheric crypt of this 1820 church was a treat in itself.


Exhibition Space in Crypt of St Pancras Church
Exhibition Space in Crypt of St Pancras Church

Most of the work is available to purchase. Signed and numbered prints on paper start at around £245, prints on canvas from £450. Visit edgrayart.com for more information.


The exhibition runs at St Pancras Church on Euston Road until the 22nd December 2011 and is open daily between 10am and 6pm. All completely free.