The artist who painted British spies

The artist who painted British spies"What resonated most, officers of the Secret Intelligence 
Service – more commonly known as MI6 – have suggested, were the paintings of hotel rooms… they captured scenes that were only too familiar."
Hart Dyke is a painter who was approached by M16, the UK government secret service, to paint pictures depicting the spy agency in action.

The artist who painted British spies"An ordinary street scene. But is it ordinary, or is something out 
of the ordinary going on here? ‘In the world of the spy, 
extraordinary events happen in the midst of the 
mundane,’ says Hart Dyke. ‘Once you’re part of that 
world, you’re never sure that things are as they seem. 
It can seem paranoid but it’s paranoia with a point. 
Is this an ordinary day in a city or is it the 
scene of an SIS operation?’"

"…Hart Dyke became aware of the low-level suspicion – of people and of events – that, of necessity, permeates every day for a spy. ‘What struck me most – and I’ve tried to get this across in my paintings – is the intriguing interface between the mundane and the totally unexpected. So, for example, you’ll be in a totally normal setting – on a busy street perhaps, or in a hotel bar – but you’re waiting for something completely out-of-the-ordinary – a tip-off or an information drop. In the midst of an entirely innocent-seeming event, something entirely ‘other’ is taking place.’"

The artist who spied on MI6 – It was a top-secret mission he couldn’t refuse. Painter James Hart Dyke was assigned to shadow spooks for a year, sketchbook in hand. What did he learn about their mysterious world? The Guardian, UK>>

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