Old Jewish Quarter, Balat, Istanbul, Turkey
Solo Exhibition: '5x5 : A Study in Pretty Architecture'
Born from a love of architecture and inspired by the beauty of colour, '5x5: A Study in Pretty Architecture' is my personal study of urban architecture from around the world. It documents my illustrative journey through five towns, villages and cities from disparate regions across the globe and viewed through the five prisms of Culture, Pattern, Detail, Colour and Aesthetic. I'm utterly captivated by colourful buildings, quaint doorways and pretty windows so this project has passion at it's absolute core.
Balat was the first place I chose to illustrate as part of this exhibition. From my cozy little studio on the West Coast of Ireland, with my dog at my feet, I was able to virtually walk the streets of the old Jewish Quarter in Istanbul, Turkey through Google Maps. Using a combination of a huge amount of screen grabs from various angles and directions, sketches of interesting architectural details that jumped out as I scrolled and cross-referencing a multitude of tourist board info, I was able to decide upon my final regions, create their mood boards and define their colour palettes. This research phase spanned a number of weeks of collating and assimilating as much as possible, so that when it came to choosing my final locations, I already had a strong idea of how they would work on the page – from architectural detail to culturally authentic colour palettes.
Strolling through Balat it struck me as being a real life example of the type of streets I've imagined when reading a book or listening to stories when I was young. I loved how squashed, narrow and colourful they were, especially drawn to the crooked streets and impossible inclines! Playing with pattern and reflection in this piece was a lot of fun. This print took approximately 55 hours of drawing demonstrating the obsessive level of attention to detail that is the signature of my work.