Journal

Current news, work, research

March 2018

Studio (2018)

Alongside developing a new set of drawings responding to the design and texture of brutalist structures, I have been reading Barnabas Calder’s Raw Concrete, not just for further research on the subject but also insights on his experience of brutalist buildings.

His first chapter revealed a significant thread of discovery.  As I read the description of his experience of Hermit’s Castle at Achmelvich, a memory began to emerge that soon formed into a powerful realisation – I had also visited Hermit’s Castle, many years ago as a child on holiday, and shared memories of the shape of the structure and feel of the concrete, prompting further remembrances of its dank smell and shimmering shards of light, as well as the wonder at how such a strange building existed in such a remote place.

Calder, B (2016) Raw Concrete: The Beauty of Brutalism. William Heinemann

January 2018

Home (2018)

‘The mesmerising allure of images where light is fighting off darkness, argues Bachelard, originates in primordial memories that are only accessible through poetic imagination, day dream and reverie.’¹

Buildings breathe, they expand and contract in two ways: firstly, in response to their context, the rhythms of their inhabitants, as well as the natural rhythms of light, seasons, passages of time; and secondly, in response to what is asked of them, their purpose. Buildings hold within them the human everyday but also the in-between, the rhythm of daily life that exists between us, the inhabitants and the building (as well as echoes of past). We are drawn into conversation, invited to experience these rhythms, when we glimpse and relish unexpected moments of light and shade.

‘To grasp rhythm, it is necessary to have been grasped by it; one must let oneself go, give oneself over, abandon oneself to its duration.’²

¹ Plummer, H (2012) The Architecture of Natural Light. Thames & Hudson

² Lefevre, H (2013) Rhythmanalysis: Space, Time and Everyday Life. Bloomsbury