Wandering to the next page


28 x 27 cm
Pen and ink on cotton board
Portobello visually describes the area around Portobello Road, a street in the Notting Hill district of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in west London. As it does, it traces a period of walking its environs, brought about by a month-long stay in the area. Drawn on location, the piece was built on the stories, facts and fables acquired through conversations with locals, as well as through ongoing empirical observation. Capturing a street view behind the Westway elevated carriageway, Portobello celebrates the vibrant culture of the iconic street market – its history and its community.
Portobello Road is named after one of the conflicts in the War of Jenkins’ Ear – an unusual tale. Robert Jenkins’ ear was cut off by the Spanish Coast Guard in 1731, an act which came to be the precursor for many succeeding battles between the Spanish and the British. The work shows an ear pickled in a pot with the sword that dealt the severing blow laid beside it.
In 1937, 4000 minors fleeing the Spanish Civil War arrived in the UK aboard the Habana ship. Portobello Road and its surrounding areas are known to have welcomed the arrival of many of the Basque Children into the community at this time.