Monday, 30 March 2015

Norwich Urban Sketchers - Anglia Square

Norwich urban sketchers met at Anglia Square on Sunday 15th March. Most people gathered outside a bakery with hot tea to sketch. I started my series of drawings that will be the start of an experimental animated film documenting the social and economic aspects of the square. Capture the derelict Brutalist architecture and character before its regeneration.

Here are A few of my sketches. Some of these sketches capture views of the modernist building famously known as Sovereign House part of brutalist movement of architecture of the 1960'c designed by Alan Cook. I have used a combination of graphite pencils, marker and brush pen and monochromatic colour as I feel it expresses the dereliction and bleak environment through the textured qualities of the different media. I will have to keep the same format and portrait seems best to represent the looming presence of these stark buildings. If you are Interested to know more about the place follow this link Mustard Video: Inside one of Norwich’s most notorious eyesores – Sovereign House at Anglia Square

The perspective of the architecture was quite challenging for me and I don't really want to make it a major part of my work. I am more interested in people and place and capturing my experiences and all the sensory stimulation I encounter while I am there drawing in situ.There is so much to record that disappears so quickly that I just hope to some how capture its energy, rhythm and soul. 

I was approached and noticed by more people from different walks of life here than I have been in other parts of the city and who were genuinely interested in what I was doing. 

The square has a sheltered area with benches where people gather to take rest, reflect, meet friends, sort shopping or while away time. It is the hub of the place. I am going to record a series of drawings capturing the stories of people sitting on these benches over time.I will be regenerating theses drawing and layering more sketches over the top to suggest layered time and the threat of redevelopment.You can see more of my drawings on my flickr site.

Amsterdam Trip

I spent a week in Amsterdam with a group of 40 A'level art students on an art trip in Febuary. This was my second year and I think Amsterdam is a fantastic city. We stayed at the Poet Hotel in the museum district and visited a number of the museums and art galleries. We visited the Stedelijk museum, The Famous Rijks museum, The Foam and The Kroller Muller.

We Saw Ed Atkins Exhibition which was too digital for me but impressive in terms of the shear scale of of the digital video projections which was totally immersive and took you through a hyperreal virtual world questioning morality, love and intimate relationships. Atkins made himself into a digital avatar.

The most impressive work I saw at the Steadlijk for me was a series of drawings by a dutch artist Jan Toorop capturing workers in a candle factory 1905. He inspired me to buy some charcoal pencils. Great use of mark making and repetitive rhythm of the linework to give a feeling of the busy working environment and sense of time.
Jan Toorop - The Candle Factory 1905

Here are a few of my sketches from the trip. Lots of time on board the ferry trip from Harwich to the Hook of Holland to experiment with some portrait drawing. I also had a play around with colour using my inktense pencils inspired by Lynn Chapman

I'm amazed by the bike system in Amsterdam. A whole family can travel on a bike with various trailers and additional seating, dogs included. I love the up right dutch style of bike.
Waiting for the Ferry to NDSM Island 

Cafe welling is the best cafe/Bar in Amsterdam ....full of atmosphere and character. Its a great place to sketch almost like being on a film set from the 1940's......

Saturday, 21 March 2015

MA Brief - The Extended Mind

Task - Using Found Imagery communicate an idea based on visual content, context and/or composition /colour and form. Organise these images without commentary and according to your own taxonomy. Expand on the notion of visual narrative, and explore diversity and specificity throughout your approach.

"The more we get involved with this process of entropy as an organising force the more planning and chance become the same thing" - Robert Smithson

This was my interpretation of the brief influenced by Ed Rushca "Every building On the Sunset Strip" photographed along the Hollywood Boulevard. He mounted a motorised camera to the back of a pickup truck and photographed every building he passed. The photographs were printed in order and labeled with street numbers. His are anthropological and explores his experience of an urban environment objectively where as my approach is subjective. 

 I decided to record the part of my journey through London on the way to Norwich from the window of a coach. I decide to sketch rather than photograph. These are a few of the sketches I did without looking at the paper and in no particular order.

I worked on the sketches using photoshop to suggest layered time, a sense of movement and repetition along the journey. Images flash past then reappear along the way, in the distance or close up. I made sketches into brushes and used them expressively in the background.


I organised them in a random order and into a booklet which formed a circular display.

I filmed it to give a sense of movement, and to try to recapture the experience of the journey  using light and shadow.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Welcome to my Blog!

I will be blogging mostly about sketching the world around me mainly in the  fine city of Norwich where I live and other places I visit like London.  

I am part of the urban sketchers community and regularly post my work on Flickr. I am a correspondent for The Urban Sketchers London blog . 

I have just started an MA in Communication Design at Norwich University of the Arts  focusing on reportage illustration so I will blog about my journey through the course. I hope to experiment with some animation bringing  my drawings to life. 

I have just started a project documenting Anglia Square a part of Norwich which is going to be redeveloped in the near future and I plan to capture the soul of the place before it disappears.  Here are a few of my sketches of Anglia Square so far:

The Square where people gather to rest or chat.

There is a sense of bleakness due to the run down and empty buildings

These sketches were made on a cold winters day of shoppers in the square.

This is a view of Magdalen street. A Multicultural Street that leads of Anglia Square. Its always busy with people waiting for buses,  street cafes and traffic moving across the flyover. A great area to sketch full of life and character.