Alone and Together, Brunel's People

This collection, created over a decade, are pictures of life in our time. Set in a familiar place where people of every kind, age, race or creed pass through and are seen, sometimes alone, sometimes together. There is absolutely no political agenda and the themes are universal.

“In our ever faster moving world, I sat still in one place and recorded many, many separate moments over more than a decade, gradually bringing them together in this series of paintings.” – Juliet Wood

Created over years, this series was developed between numerous portraits Juliet painted in one of the busiest decades of her life.

“It all came about by accident,” says Juliet. “I was seeking a place to draw and wandered into McDonald’s in the centre of Swindon, which obviously doesn’t have the best reputation as towns go… But it could have been anywhere. I was just looking for somewhere people would gather and move but not too quickly to draw them.

“The ephemeral buzz and interplay of so many individuals stirred me into making paintings. All have been developed from sketched observations, then built up in the studio from on-site pastel studies into considered compositions.

“You mean”, said one visitor to Juliet’s studio, “this scene never actually existed?”

“Well, not as such,” replied Juliet. “And no more do any of the people, often a combination of drawings of different individuals and different sketchbooks.”

‘Alone and Together, Brunel’s People’ was launched as a touring exhibition in 2013/14 by a mass figure-drawing event in the central plaza of Swindon. For several weeks, a film of the exhibition was shown daily on a BBC Big screen in the plaza and seen by many people unfamiliar with paintings or galleries. The exhibition raised extensive interest and participation in visual art among those who were the very subject of the pictures as well as art students and working artists.