Burano, Italy

Solo Exhibition: '5x5 : A Study in Pretty Architecture'

Born from a love of architecture and inspired by the beauty of colour, this exhibition '5x5: A Study in Pretty Architecture' is just that, 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've always been fascinated by architecture and long held the creative need to celebrate this passion by creating a body of work in its honour.  I'm utterly captivated by colourful buildings, quaint doorways and pretty windows so this project has passion at it's absolute core! I started researching for this solo exhibition by creating five folders - one for each continent. Within those folders were a long list of countries with potential places of interest. Within each country there were folders for the regions that excited me the most. Overall a list of 74 folders were created in the research process which then I whittled down to a very potential 15 and finally to the 5 you see before you.


With the wind and rain howling outside the windows of my little studio on the West Coast of Ireland, I was able to transport myself to the sunshine and travel the waterways of the captivating Burano through Google Maps. I would take screen grabs of interesting windows, colours, details, doorways, boats and anything that excited me as I perused this gorgeous little Italian island. Using a combination of a huge amount of screen grabs from various angles and directions, sketches of interesting cultural and 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 background information as possible, so that when it came to hitting the sketchpad, I already had a strong idea of how they would work on the page – from architectural detail to culturally authentic colour palettes.

Print: 110cm x 22.5cm  /  Framed: 126cm x 38.5cm

Print: 110cm x 22.5cm  /  Framed: 126cm x 38.5cm


Italy is quite simply visually breathtaking, it's no coincidence a disproportionate amount of the great masters of art hailed from such a visually rich and inspiring part of the world. You only have to look at Riomaggiore, Portifino or the popular Amalfi Coast to see why. Having whittled my choice down from four regions within Italy alone, to eventually settling on Burano, you can be sure I will visit the streets of this stunning country again, this time in real life!