Social housing on the brink of demolition, as painted by visual artist Michael Cox

13 January 2016

In stark contrast to his rural upbringing, Michael Cox’s paintings of social housing capture some of London’s most famous estates as they face the prospect of demolition. Playing on what he perceives to be the transient nature of architecture, Michael’s latest work has seen him visit Robin Hood Gardens and the Aylesbury estate.

Eerily reflective of the controversial housing bill currently passing through parliament, Michael’s compositions allude to a theatrical setting, the content of the paintings appear delicately placed like fragile props on a stage. “I’ve been brought up in the country so have little idea of what council house living is really like, says Michael. "I deliberately approach the subject as an outsider. All of the paintings are of facades or feature walls and windows, metaphors for the fact that I have no part in this way of life.”

On the topic of architectural vulnerability within his work, Michael says, “There’s a feeling of suspense that something may happen or something has just happened. Buildings rise and fall all the time.”

Citing Hurvin Anderson and George Shaw amongst his influences, Michael plans to complete his Fine Art degree at Falmouth School of Art this Summer.


Michael Cox: Barbican Station II, 2015, oil on canvas


Michael Cox: Aylesbury, 2015, oil on canvas


Michael Cox: Guildhall, 2015, acrylic and oil on canvas


Michael Cox: Composition Through Railing, 2015


Michael Cox: Curtains III, 2015, mixed media on canvas


Michael Cox: Robin Hood Gardens (Front), 2015, oil, collage and spray paint on canvas

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Milly Burroughs

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