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November 2020

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‘A powerful architectural experience silences all external noise.’ ¹

Since the start of the pandemic, due to reduced opportunities to visit architectural spaces of interest, I have been making work through a more connected experience of home and this has been productive (see June 2020). Over recent weeks, however, reverberations from amplified external noise have impeded my experience of home. I wonder whether the shift in season and altered character of our contracted home are added contributors, or perhaps as time goes on, the shine of home may be tarnishing.

I miss experiencing somewhere different, encountering a new building or space. Until that time, I am using this opportunity to review recent work, research new ideas and consider new ways of working.

¹ Pallasmaa, J (2011) The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses

 

September 2020

Home

‘the house breathes differently when Yazz isn’t there’ ¹

It has been six months since the start of lockdown in March and our home has contracted once more (see May 2020). I am noticing seasonal shifts in the character of our home’s architectural light and shadow. It’s as if the building can sense something has changed. None of us knows how this next phase will unfold so, along with everyone else, and it seems even the architecture around us, we’re holding our breath.

During this time, I have been developing the series Drawing Breath by working with richer, deeper graphite and free standing, double sided frames.

¹ Evaristo, B (2020) Girl, Woman, Other  

June 2020

Home

‘In great architectural spaces, there is a constant, deep breathing of shadow and light; shadow inhales and illumination exhales light.’ ¹

Continuing my series of drawings in response to moments of architectural light and shadow from around my home during lockdown, I have been testing installation ideas. The work Drawing Breath comprises plexiglass blocks containing both graphite drawings and cut outs on translucent paper that interact with each other when activated by natural light in the space.

For some time now, I have been exploring ways to communicate my response to architectural light and shadow and this new body of work feels like a promising line of inquiry. Like many, the initial shock of lockdown was destabilising. It has been interesting to reflect on how this new, unexpected drawing approach, that evolved from concentrated working with limited resources, has emerged through the restrictions of lockdown.

¹ Pallasmaa, J (2011) The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses

 

May 2020

Home

I have been thinking about the idea that buildings breathe (see February 2020) as this feels particularly pertinent in lockdown. Our homes have expanded to the demands of more inhabitants or contracted to shelter one or two. For some, home feels like a refuge, while for others, a restriction. 

For me, after a period of contraction, our home is full again and I can feel the fabric of the architecture sighing. Having lived here for 20 years, it feels like our home is as much entwined in our family history as we are, familiar and integral to our rhythms, and I wonder at our home’s ability to recall and re-establish echoes of previous patterns. 

With these ideas in mind, I have been working on a series of drawings, building on previous approaches. Inspired by moments of architectural light and shadow, I am exploring mark making and layering to re-examine and re-consider my experience of home at this time.

April 2020

Home

In line with ideas from the Beningbrough Hall Project, I am working on a series of drawings that considers the words silent and listen during lockdown; two words comprising the same letters. During this time, I am focusing on noticing, documenting (through photographs) and responding (through drawing) to moments of architectural light and shadow from around my home.

For me, drawing is an action of reception and expression, where I open up my responses to the felt experience of the moment. Through quiet, sensory engagement, I listen to what the experience of drawing is revealing to me. Paradoxically, during lockdown it has been more challenging to find moments of quiet and this has exposed how significant this is in my process. It has also, however, demonstrated that the relationship between silent and listen can be considered in our experience of architecture. Quiet moments, often through fleeting moments of light and shadow, when buildings reveal themselves to us and invite us to be still and listen.