Sarah Giles


the space where something was

Bread and fish

Oil on boxed panel, 51cm wide x 19cm tall when open, 26.5cm wide x 15cm tall when closed.

This painting spans three panels. The centre panel is a trapezium, the lower edge being shorter than the top edge. Hinged on either side is a smaller panel. When the side panels are closed they entirely cover the centre panel.

The picture is of three tables in a restaurant. The tables are square, covered with plain white clothes that almost reach the floor. Each table has a single chair behind it. We can only see part of the backrest of each of the chairs. They match and are dark bent wood. The backrests are oval, wider than they are tall. The top edge is wider than the edges, resulting in a 'bean shaped' cut out.

The left panel is almost filled by a table and chair. The table is set for two, plain white crockery, main course plates, side plates and pairs of wine glasses. The glasses are empty. In the middle of table is a silver salt and pepper pot set. The far plate has something on it, perhaps a white napkin viewed through the wine glasses.

The second table is on the main panel of the picture. It is set slightly to the left of centre. It too is set with two places. The main course plates are filled with food though it is difficult to identify precisely what has been served. To the left of the setting on our side of the table is a bread basket filled with bread. The salt and pepper set are nearer the setting on the other side of the table. The are no glasses on this table.

The third table runs from the right of the centre panel on to the right panel of the picture. The table is empty except for the salt and pepper shakers. They stand slightly near to us than the middle of the table, a little apart from each other.

The whole scene is lit from the right. The shadows cast are quite long. The wall behind the tables is a dark chocolate brown. On the main panel there are two pictures hung on the wall. We can only see the bottom section of them, and almost uniform cinnamon in colour. They have thick black frames and seem to be a matching pair.

The floor is a mid brown wooden floor with the grain running left-right.

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