Painting the contrasts of East End life
This 1994 painting by Jock McFadyen shows a scene near the artist's home. McFadyen saw a man sniffing glue and planned to paint him. He then changed his mind and replaced the glue-sniffer with a kissing couple. He called the work 'Canal Lovers'.
Location of the lovers
McFadyen painted a pair of lovers whose romance is in contrast to the bleak cityscape that surrounds them. The couple are by the Grand Union Canal at Salmon Lane, Bow, where the railway crosses the canal. Limehouse Basin lies nearby between the canal and the Thames.
In the 19th century, Limehouse Basin - or Regent's Canal Dock as it was also known - was one of London's busiest docks. Large quantities of coal and timber were unloaded onto barges and carried to wharves along the Regent's Canal. When the dock closed, the quays and wharves of Limehouse were abandoned and became derelict.
Jock McFadyen_s website
Museum number 95.532