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up to it but there is no one entering or leaving as the gates are locked by a heavy chain. It feels like someone shut up shop and left. What it will be like one hundred years from now or in a thousand years? Will plants take hold and a forest grow? By giving the gallery back to nature I wanted to give the viewer a feeling of discovery. Now that it’s finished the illustration it keeps reminding me of a lost Cambodian temple.

Exit to Silk Street “Exit to Silk Street”is my first attempt to get the towers into an illustration. The towers are fascinating; the curve on the balconies and the thin edge looks like serrated blade cutting into the sky. How can you not look up and wonder what events are unfolding within them. In the illustration the towers are in there to add to the drama. The view point is pure comic

book, a strong perspective from a worm’s eye view, but this is often the type of view I get on the towers.

Crescent Frobisher Crescent has always been a favourite building of mine. It is immediately pretty. The glass walkways connecting it to other buildings are virtually transparent. They look weightless next to the concrete. My favourite light for viewing the building is late autumn and early winter, the rich warm light that creates low shadows and great shapes. The nice thing about strong directional light is that it reveals as much as it hides. Trying to adjust your eyes to the contrast you can miss what is going on in the shadows. The Frobisher building in this type of light is naturally cinematic. With the “Crescent” illustration I wanted to get that sense of warmth, transparency and strong shadows.

Recently I’ve been soaking up the colours of Barbican interiors; the brass used for hand rails as well as the doors, brown paint. The brown paint on the notice boards often looks distressed. There can be red paint breaking though. You could almost stick a frame around these places and put a label on them, as they have the basic elements of Op art. I’m working on a couple of paintings to capture Barbican colours. I intend to keep them quite abstract; a simple distressed brown background on a red undercoat on top of which I will place towers rendered in gold. I’ve completed the background but now I’m hunting for the right type of gold. I’m also mid way through an illustration about deer in the Beech Street underpass. I think the addition of deer would make it a bit more special.

What next (Things that could have been)

The Barbican has variation in its DNA. It’s probably true of all big building projects but I was surprised to discover how many different features such as the elevated road cutting through the Estate, Christopher Wren’s Temple Bar (currently placed in Paternoster Square) or The Coal Exchange Dome were meant to be here but got sidelined or compromised. If the architects had managed to include Temple Bar and the Dome into the Barbican it would have been quite a spectacle. I’m really curious to see what this Barbican would have looked like so I’m going to illustrate it.

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