Sunday, 8 November 2015

Documenting Aylesbury Estate London

I joined the London on location drawing group on Saturday 31st Otober to sketch the Aylesbury Housing estate. We met in a cafe along the Old Kent Road called the GB ice cream parlour. I was pretty hungry having left the house early to catch the  6.30 train into London to deliver my framed sketch to Timberyard for 10am for the london Urban sketchers exhibition in Soho. Fabiola recommended the Saltena which is a type of Bolivian baked empanada which would fill me up for the days sketching.The waiter recommended the Runa tea from the Ecuadorian Amazon, all very delicious and home baked. Great start to the day.

Here are some of my sketches and photographs documenting the Aylesbury estate which is the largest in London accommodating about 7600 people and is being regenerated. Protests are taking place to save the estate. Residents are being moved off the estate, block by block, re-homed and split up all over the country.  it was a good exercise in perspective drawing!! Certainly was a challenge.

I started of with my torn paper drawing trying to capture the urban tattered feel to the place ,using torn paper represented its looming prospect. 

I stayed on the lower level but some of the other sketchers went up to the top for birds eye views. I couldn't believe the size of the place. There were children out playing in the playground and on bikes and they were inquisitive and keen to take a look. I focused mainly in one area as there was so many options it was over whelming. I would like to go back and sketch from a higher viewpoint or try to capture the shear scale of the place and also more of the rich and diverse cultural community.


The plan was to meet at Burgess Park life cafe at 3.30 to share sketches. The park itself was a great location and also gave more of an impression of the scale of the estate. Unfortunately I didn't have time to capture this in sketches but here are a few photographs. A choir were practising in the park which I thought would be an interesting shot against the Estate in the background. We were so lucky with the weather and light making it even more dramatic. A great day and place full of culture, character and diversity. Thanks to Fabiola for organising such a great and thought provoking location.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Battersea Power Station London

Sunday 11th October  

With new Glue stick in hand I was determined to capture Battersea Power Station so I stopped off at Vauxhall station on my way to Waterloo, and walked along the Thames Path to sketch the Power Station from across the river. When I was in my late teens I used the train line  that passed Battersea Power Station quite a lot and it was always an iconic land mark for me as the train approached London. I thought that drawing with torn Paper was an appropriate medium to capture the regeneration taking place. 

My inspiration for using collage paper and mark making comes from the amazing collages by John Piper. The piece below is Titled the Martello Towers at Hythe 1932 and he used ink, gouache, pencil and collage. I love the naivety and combination of media.

John Piper in 1930s Abstraction on the Beach

Juggling with Paper and glue on a windy day can be quite a challenge. I perched on the wall edge by the railings and being careful not to loose anything else in the river I started to create some patterns and textures on to a variety of papers from observation of the Battersea Power Station to draw/collage with.

Media - variety of papers, brush pen, cool grey and ivory marker pen, digital colour