'Hideaway I', Covadonga Valdés

Painting of steps in a wood with a blue street lamp

Oil on board, 56 x 46cm

I begin with the fantasy of pretending to step into a view, a landscape.

I walk through urban streets, hoping to hide from the city in a deserted area of municipal common. Listening to the whisper of distant traffic, I begin to experience a solitude, an almost rural quietness in these spurious surroundings, where anything could happen. I sense the danger of retreating into the pleasures of nature. At this point I attempt to capture this recess of the landscape by photographing it and creating the source of my painting.

Back in the studio the role of painting begins: engaging with the emotional influence of the light and weather, with the tension between presence and absence.

The finished painting, Hideaway, a view tempered by mood and brushwork, completes the search for escape.


Covadonga Valdés was born in Asturias, Spain in 1966. She studied at Chelsea College of Art 1988-92 and the Slade School of Fine Art 1992-94. Her first solo exhibition was Regarding Still Life City Art Gallery London 1993. She has since had three further ones in Spain and two in London including Pump House Gallery 1999. Recent group shows include Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2000 and 2001, Art4Life Christie's 2002 and The Discerning Eye Mall Galleries 2003.