What Will Happen To Wimbledon Over Time?

Local artist Jonathan Parker exhibits his drawings of the town at a Civic Forum event

"What will happen to our town?” is a question that concerns many people including the artist Jonathan Parker, who has been living in Wimbledon since 1993. In 2018, when he heard how important a neighbourhood plan could be when dealing with issues raised by recent planning proposals, particularly building heights, Parker started drawing contemporary Wimbledon and joined the Wimbledon neighbourhood plan working group.

Subsequently he has organised a Wimbledon Civic Forum event on 20th June with the help of Marcus Beale Architects, to raise awareness of the Wimbledon Town Neighbourhood Forum for both residents and businesses. He will be showing all 30 of his recent Wimbledon drawings - hanging them together for the first time in the Library’s Arts Space - to help form a basis for debate about the neighbourhood. This will be chaired by Stephen Hammond MP. There will also be a talk by Anthony Wilkinson, trustee of the Wimbledon Concert Hall project.

Jonathan Parker was born in Northern Ireland in 1968, but grew up in Twickenham and attended King’s College School, where he began drawing seriously. Several fine paintings by the artist can be seen the school. Best know for portraits Parker said: “I know people have strong instincts about their neighbourhood and how the future might look. I’ve tried to fathom mine through this work. Drawing is a good way to understand time and place and feelings about those things. It’s a unique human activity, making sense of the world. I have some basic rules to help me see more clearly the relationship between things within a single drawing. Although the broad technique is quite suggestive, I’ll focus on a few points of energy and detail. Later, with more drawings to look at, I can identify the kind of atmosphere certain locations present and try and make a judgement.”

In this Wimbledon series there are different elements to understand; people. trees, traffic, buildings and the sky, drawn onto paper that has a blue-black ground. The artist used a similar approach for his breakthrough exhibition - Familiarity and Mystery (2017) - which dealt with the transition of a grand country house from family home to National Trust property.

Parker: “When I draw well, time seems to stand still. Instinct overrides thought and that’s important. I hope that showing the drawings together and giving some insight into their creation can be a catalyst for passionate and thoughtful debate about Wimbledon; part of a framework to enable the reality of the neighbourhood to be understood better, with the changes to be made, guided in a positive way by people who care.”

April 26, 2015