In the June issue of SE21, local artist Mehreen Lodhi had the last word. See what she had to say:
I am an artist living in Dulwich, London. I have pursued my passion for art vigorously alongside practicing as a lawyer over the last decade.
How long have you lived in the area?
I grew up in Dulwich and love everything about it.
I was born in Pakistan and attended a private school there before moving to Dulwich, London. I was 12 years old when we moved to Dulwich, it was in the height of the 80s when I used to see young people in Dr Martens and punk hairstyles walking along the streets and Madonna topped the music charts. I have lived in Dulwich for over three decades.
What has changed most during that time?
Not much but places like The Rosendale used to have smoky windows and you could never see what was going on inside. I was always curious and imagined trays full of cigarette butts next to empty bottles of wines and beer on the tables. Now it is a gastro clean pub and I love going there.
Dulwich Park seemed to be in need of repair and now it is landscaped and beautiful. What is really nice is that the Victorian features have been retained in the park. One of my paintings is paying a homage to my love for Dulwich Park. It is called Autumnus Dulwich.
What’s the one thing you couldn’t do without?
Almost needless to say that as an artist I love going to all the exhibitions at Dulwich Picture Gallery. You will often find me there looking at the paintings and exhibitions closely.
Cafe, pub or bar?
I love going to the café at the West Norwood Picturehouse. The reclining sofas against the large glass windows looking out onto the church and vibrant high street will makes me spend an extra hour sipping a cup of tea or coffee there. The library integrated in the building is also friendly and cosy place. I hope to be exhibiting there in July. If you are out and about do come up to see my work there.
Where’s your favourite place to walk?
I love to go to Richmond Park as I love deer. It takes some patience and stillness to be able to get close to the deer and observe them in their habitat. I have a painting that I did from a beautiful day at Richmond Park, called Autumn Deer. These things that influence me have found their way to my website and my Instagram.
When I want to relax…
Meditate and yoga. I have a beautiful mature garden with green gage, plum, cherry, pear and apple trees and plenty of roses. In the morning the sun shines on the trees and lies gently on the grass which has stayed green all through the winter. The pull is strong enough to get me out there even in winter, so I dress warm and step out for my relaxing yoga and meditation sessions.