Bring It Home: Roger Walker returns to ‘first love’ architectural painting


Finest identified for his controversial 1973 Park Mews complex in Wellington, Roger Walker has returned to portray to get his structure repair throughout lockdown.

With a touch of the playful, whimsical artwork of Disney’s Mary Blair, Walker’s work hark again to his award-winning constructing block design model. After we have been arranging the interview, Walker mentioned he was “glad Jacinda was opening the outlets once more, as a result of I’ve simply run out of canvasses”.

So how have you ever been throughout lockdown?

Roger Walker with one of 13 paintings he's made during lockdown.

Robert Kitchin/Stuff

Roger Walker with one in every of 13 work he is made throughout lockdown.

ROGER: Oh, it is actually bizarre, is not it? It has been a bizarre time.

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It nearly appears like that point has simply disappeared.

Architect Roger Walker at home in his inner city Wellington apartment that doubles as his office, with one of the works he created during lockdown.

Robert Kitchin/Stuff

Architect Roger Walker at residence in his interior metropolis Wellington house that doubles as his workplace, with one of many works he created throughout lockdown.

Sure, it is gone actual fast. That is why pulled out the outdated paintbrushes to simply attempt to do one thing reasonably than simply sitting watching infinite TV, though I did watch lots of TV.

[My partner] Moerangi had some acrylic paint, as a result of she used to color some years in the past, and I would by no means used acrylics earlier than. So I attacked them and head it had a great response, which is wonderful.

They actually remind me of your structure and there is one thing just a little 70s about them. 

Walker is best known for his work on controversial Wellington landmark, Park Mews, in Haitaitai. His paintings reflect that trademark building-block style. 

Robert Kitchin/Stuff

Walker is greatest identified for his work on controversial Wellington landmark, Park Mews, in Haitaitai. His work replicate that trademark building-block model. 

That most likely figures! I’ve at all times achieved portray, at the same time as a child, however I at all times used watercolors. I do not know why, I am a little bit of a creature of behavior, ? You get one thing proper and also you keep it up. It has been a helpful expertise making an attempt out the acrylics.

And naturally with Fb and with the flexibility to, kind of, put issues up, you get suggestions and the suggestions’s been wonderful. 

The primary individual that rang me was my son [Jake Walker] who’s knowledgeable artist in Tasmania. He seized on a selected portray that he preferred, and he is provided to do a swap with one in every of his work. 

"I've always done painting, even as a kid, but I always used watercolors. I don't know why, I'm a bit of a creature of habit, you know?"

Robert Kitchin/Stuff

“I’ve at all times achieved portray, at the same time as a child, however I at all times used watercolors. I do not know why, I am a little bit of a creature of behavior, ?”

I believe his work is within the $4000 or $5,000 apiece bracket, so I believed that was a great deal. 

Then some buddies of ours who dwell in Sydney emailed and mentioned they’d prefer to fee a piece. So I’ve obtained a $500 sale for a portray I have not achieved but as a result of I have not obtained the canvas to do it.

Inform me a bit in regards to the model. 

I’ve at all times been within the artwork aspect of structure, , the design aspect of it, so it is not stunning that they have these types of reverberations. 

It is changing into increasingly troublesome to do this kind of structure now with the laws to do with consents and the resort administration course of. I have been dropping a little bit of job satisfaction on account of these frustrations and delays.

It is actually fairly clear air in the event you do work. You do not want anybody’s consent, you do not want anybody’s permission, you possibly can just about paint what you want.

"It's really quite clean air if you do paintings. You don't need anyone's consent, you don't need anyone's permission, you can pretty much paint what you like."

Robert Kitchin/Stuff

“It is actually fairly clear air in the event you do work. You do not want anybody’s consent, you do not want anybody’s permission, you possibly can just about paint what you want.”

It has been a studying curve for me. I managed to do 13 work in the course of the lockdown interval. 

Have you ever obtained any plans to do some type of exhibition? 

These work have been experimental to a level. Along with my son, I have been speaking to different artists that I do know, making an attempt to excellent the method. 

The images are primarily patchwork of various colors, and I have been getting the perimeters tougher and crisper. Some folks say you should use masking tape, however I believe that is too excellent. My son says that even the well-known painters like Mondrian, you possibly can at all times see the brushstrokes. 

So, I believe my work are starting to get technically higher.

At this stage, I’ve simply been taking part in round with completely different textures and completely different themes, however I’ll keep it up.

 After we first chatted, you talked about the constructing blocks of the universe? 

"I like picturesque paintings. What I do next will probably be a bit more free flowing and less geometric."

Robert Kitchin/Stuff

“I like picturesque work. What I do subsequent will most likely be a bit extra free flowing and fewer geometric.”

I began off simply portray combos of circles inside triangles and triangles inside squares. There are 9 completely different combos with these three shapes.

Then I believed, ‘nicely, I am going to have a go at themes I’ve preferred previously’. Like, you draw a construction, which could possibly be a tree trunk, or it could possibly be a roadway, and you then add little, stylised buildings on both aspect of it. 

I like picturesque work. What I do subsequent will most likely be a bit extra free flowing and fewer geometric.

"I still love architecture."

Robert Kitchin/Stuff

“I nonetheless love structure.”

However I am going to simply keep it up, as a result of it is the feed again that is holding me going.

You mentioned you’d been dropping a little bit of job satisfaction?

Roger Walker at his famed Park Mews building in Hataitai, Wellington.

Robert Kitchin/Stuff

Roger Walker at his famed Park Mews constructing in Hataitai, Wellington.

I nonetheless like being and architect. However… you talked about the 70s. We did the Park Mews constructing, 29 or 30 residences in Haitaitai in 73. Now, that is the kind of factor you might do within the 70s.

The city planners and the council officers simply did not fear so long as the peak limits are noticed and the distances from boundaries have been noticed. 

Now, there are these folks known as city designers and among the extra doctrinaire ones say, ‘look, you architects design particular person buildings, however we design them to suit right into a metropolis. So you possibly can’t have a constructing like that. It could be an unacceptable intrusion into town texture’. 

Park Mews, an experimental apartment complex by Roger Walker, as it was in 1973.

Equipped

Park Mews, an experimental house complicated by Roger Walker, because it was in 1973.

I’ve argued with them. Good cities to me are a library of books. There’s nothing fallacious with having an Artwork Deco constructing subsequent to a excessive tech constructing. However there’s this sense of homogeneity now, which I discover fairly detrimental and just a little dispiriting.

The juxtaposition of outdated and new is kind of invigorating generally. 

Sure, I agree. I nonetheless love structure, there isn’t any substitute for going into one thing you’ve got designed and having glad shoppers in one thing that you’ve got really constructed.

Park Mews as it appears today. 

Robert Kitchin/Stuff

Park Mews because it seems right this moment. 

Nevertheless it’s just like the outdated saying: success is 10 per cent inspiration and 90 per cent perspiration, on this case, simply to get plans by.



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