Focus on John Dolan

Images courtesy the artist and Howard Griffin Gallery

John Dolan
First and second floor lobby spaces, The Broadgate Tower

Each month we take a closer look at one of our Broadgate artists; this month is the turn of John Dolan, the artist behind the brand new exhibition on the first and second floor lobbies of the Broadgate Tower.

Broadgate, a display of recent works on paper by John Dolan, explores his intimate and unique relationship with the immediate environment, and is available to view until October 2015.

John Dolan is one of East London's most renowned artists. Taking the street life and the architecture in and around Broadgate and nearby Shoreditch as his starting point, Dolan presents raw and detailed portrayals of this familiar setting, asking the viewer to reconsider the backdrop to their day; ignored buildings are highlighted, trivial scenes are elevated and eyes are drawn to the underappreciated minutiae. In and out of prison for two decades, Dolan spent several years living on the streets of London. Finding himself in Shoreditch in 2010, facing poverty and destitution, he took up his long neglected talent for drawing. The next three years saw John Dolan on Shoreditch High Street with his dog George at his side, sitting on the pavement, quite simply chronicling the changing face of Shoreditch through his drawings. Over time Dolan built up a cult following which culminated in sell out exhibitions of his work at Howard Griffin Gallery.

The drawings included within this exhibition form the first consistent body of work produced by Dolan since his long period of homelessness. They represent a transitional phase as he leaves his street life behind to become a full time working artist and explore new influences in his work. Dolan first visited the Broadgate Tower towards the end of 2013; invited to survey the familiar streets below, Dolan created Shoreditch from the Air, a work which includes the spot on Shoreditch High Street where he and George sat for three years. Over the past one and a half years the artist has revisited the building, finding solace in his documentation of these surroundings. Sketching from the upper floors to produce works of art for display in the building, Dolan has produced a core of work which represents a very personal journey.

John Dolan is represented by Howard Griffin Gallery; he has also undertaken important commissions with The Big Issue Foundation, UNICEF and The Museum of London. Dolan's memoir gives insight into his remarkable story and was published in September 2014 by Random House. Look out for future visits and events at the Broadgate Tower with John Dolan and George during the course of the exhibition.

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