Tile Hill. A small suburb of Coventry that has seen better days. A place that still has plenty of post war temporary housing (only meant to used for 10 years to re-house people after the blitz), knocked down boozers that you could pretty much buy anything in (and I do mean, anything) and a typically 50/60’s UK housing estates feel. Estates that, to this day are dotted across the UK. Decaying, and mostly, well past their sell by date.

Scenes from the Passion The Goal Mouth, 1999, copyright George Shaw, courtesy Wilkinson Gallery, London
Scenes from the Passion The Fall, 1999, copyright George Shaw, courtesy Wilkinson Gallery, London

George Shaw, grew up on these streets. And when he left his home, to pursue his passion, he tended to paint (with Humbrol Enamels, normally used to paint air-fix model kits) memories and places within Tile Hill, with a smidgen of nostalgia and retrospect (smidgen?). After finishing his degree at Sheffield Polytechnic, he attended the Royal College of Art in London and for the past 15 years has been gradually carving out a name as a world-renowned artist (reflected in his recent nomination for the much coveted Turner Art Prize).

Scenes from the Passion Bus Stop at the Top, 2003, copyright George Shaw, courtesy Wilkinson Gallery, London
Scenes from the Passion The Fall, 1999, copyright George Shaw, courtesy Wilkinson Gallery, London

For the first time, George will be exhibiting his most famous pieces, in the City that inspired them. Alongside these original paintings, George has revisited some of those locations, and re-worked in water colour. Most, very different looking from the originals. I’ve followed Georges work for a number of years, (thanks to his sister) partly for the ‘local boy done good’ factor, but mostly growing up in the Canley, Wood End and Willenhall areas of Coventry (all very similar looking to Tile Hill) and them bringing back some fond memories of a time gone by. (What can I say, I’m reminiscing like a mother fucker at the minute).

Scenes from the Passion The Fall, 1999, copyright George Shaw, courtesy Wilkinson Gallery, London
Scenes from the Passion The Fall, 1999, copyright George Shaw, courtesy Wilkinson Gallery, London

The exhibition, is the first time that George Shaw has exhibited in his home City. And I can assure you, will be more than worth an hour out of your day. George Shaw: I woz ere is a FREE exhibition, taking place at the Herbert Gallery in Coventry, between the 18th November 2011 and 11 March 2012. More information from Herbert Art Gallery.