Rankle and Reynolds’ latest collaboration Serpentine has taken up permanent residence in the recently refurbished Double Tree by Hilton at Hyde Park. Tastefully disrupting the conventional perception of an English park, Serpentine acknowledges the historical significance of the location and imbues it with a sense of mystery and magic within the contemporary urban environment.
The 350 acres of Hyde Park have a Royal history dating back to Henry VIII. The King acquired the land from the Monks of Westminster Abbey in 1536 for private hunting and sport. It wasn’t until 1637 that the park was opened to the general public courtesy of King Charles I.
The Serpentine lake was added at the behest of Queen Caroline. Part of her plans for the extensive renovations of Hyde Park led by Royal Gardener and pioneer of jardin anglais Charles Bridgeman, the Serpentine was one of the first artificial lakes made to ‘look natural’ in England.
Painting is, first, an affirmation of the visible
Serpentine is the first large-scale image by Rankle and Reynolds using pigmented inkjet photographic imagery and oil paint directly on canvas. The image is built with opaque and semi-transparent layers of ink, paint and glazes. The inclusion of photomontage and photographic light drawing provides compositional elements that influence and inform the painting.
Combining recognisable features of Hyde Park with abstract gestures. Serpentine references secretive and hidden characteristics found within the historical landscape.