“Places where I forgot things”: memory, identity and the British council estate in the paintings of George Shaw

Waites, Ian (2013) “Places where I forgot things”: memory, identity and the British council estate in the paintings of George Shaw. Cultural Politics, 9 (3). pp. 357-370. ISSN 1743-2197

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Abstract

George Shaw (1966–) is a British painter known for his meticulous depictions of Tile Hill in Coventry, a post–World War II council housing estate where Shaw lived from 1968 until the late 1980s. This article assesses Shaw's work as a product of a wider struggle between the idealistic principles of postwar council estate planning and the later negative social and aesthetic stereotyping of these estates. Next, it discusses how Shaw's paintings appear to cope with this struggle by “spectrally wavering” between a visualization of Tile Hill as remembered from his childhood and as it is in its present condition. Finally, Shaw's work is examined in relation to theories of autobiographical memory and childhood development to show how the postwar council estate had an indelible effect on the formation of Shaw's personal and cultural identity.

Keywords:George Shaw, Council Estates, Identity, Memory, Childhood Studies
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V147 Modern History 1950-1999
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K421 Urban Planning
W Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
L Social studies > L726 Cultural Geography
W Creative Arts and Design > W120 Painting
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V210 British History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V360 History of Architecture
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K450 Housing
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Architecture & Design > School of Architecture & Design (Design)
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ID Code:12984
Deposited On:19 Jan 2014 19:41

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