Painting/Sunderland was founded in 2004 to exhibit the work of the painter Robert Soden in its own gallery in Sunderland and at other venues. This website has galleries that show works in the exhibitions with accompanying texts and galleries that show works under place/site or date painted.
From 2004 Painting/Sunderland invited guest selectors to choose paintings for each exhibition with the overall theme of looking. In the first year these were all professional curators; subsequently the invited selectors all had roles where looking is an essential skill and whom it was felt would make interesting choices of work. These included a surgeon, town planners and the well-known TV weatherman Bob Johnson
, the 2011-12 exhibition series was selected by artists, including David Hockney
, architects and art historians. To see painting in the exhibitions please click on gallery
An established landscape painter, Robert Soden’s interest in architecture and urban life began when he lived and worked in Rome in the early 1980s. He has spent much of the last twenty five years recording the changes to the City of Sunderland as it has undergone substantial redevelopment. He sees his work as a continuation of the topographical tradition of Girtin, Cotman and Turner. Soden focuses on the human element of architecture, describing where and how people carry out their lives, in prominent sites as well as less well-documented areas. Soden often uses weather and light as metaphors for the politics of change. The paintings are all made outside in front of the motif and as a result have the veracity of the lived experience.
Soden has undertaken many commissions nationally and internationally including 27 paintings of the Jubilee Line Extension Project for London Transport, these give him privileged access to behind-the-scenes events that are often lost to sight as facades are installed and cover the engineering work, (see www.20thcenturylondon.org.uk). More recently he has been recording the engineering and tunneling works unseen by queuing motorists at the newly opened Tyne Tunnel 2, (see gallery: Tyne Tunnel 2).
This website shows a small sample of Robert Soden's work. If you would like to see the actual paintings or others in his studio please contact the artist by telephone or email