Searchlights over London

Watercolour on paper
Image size: 6 3/4 x 9 3/4 inches (17 x 23 cm)
Mounted with hand made black step frame

This dynamic scene displays a First World War blackout in London. At the start of the First World War acetylene gas-powered searchlights were deployed along the Thames to form anti-aircraft light barriers. Here, a miriad of searchlights disturb the darkness, with one beam identifying a biplane at the top of the pictorial space.

A horizon of roofs and chimneys are visible in silhouette across the bottom of the picture. The sharp beamed searchlights cut across the sky above, dividing it up into a geometrical grid of dark and light tones, giving the painting an almost vorticist like quality.