Returned from Istanbul

art, drawing, Drawing in Public, Illustration, location drawing, location painting, metamorphosis, reportage

I am just returned for the 2nd time in 8 months from Istanbul. When I visited last year, feeling an amazing fondness and love for this city I didn’t expect to be back so soon but my illustration work found me out there just last week!

Of course I stayed on a few more days and had a wonderful time running round and drawing the sights (and buying crazy things like lemon salt!)

Here are some of the places and moments from the trip….

Babel Cafe
Istanbul - Babel Cafe - Last morning

This restaurant we had an amazing dinner, playing backgammon and snap, drinking red wine, eating phenomenal food and dancing round and sharing music with the lovely owner as we left. My friend Tem and I returned on our last morning for the most delicious breakfast dish ‘menemen’.

Late for our flight I didn’t have time to visit the beautiful junk shop pictured on the corner but this view is a familiar one I will return to easily as every road we took in Istanbul seemed to lead us back to the crossroads of the incongruous Pizza Vegas and The Babel Restaurant.

Istanbul - Limonlu - Tem

After the aforementioned evening Tem and I found a hidden away restaurant with a hidden away garden and tortoises wandering around… feeling wobbly we did portraits of each other (mostly without looking at the page) that came out just as wobbly as we were. Sitting on the swing seat and taking up two tables in this rather up-market restaurant, we recovered the will to go out and find the city.

Istanbul Limonlu resturant with hangover and memories of the night before

Sultanahmet  Istanbul - Sultanahmet and crowds

Last time I kept trying to visit the blue mosque, or Sultanahmet, during prayer times and didn’t see it. On this trip timing was better and I got to see inside. I had imagined it being bright turquoise and almost brashly vibrant, but actually the space has a very pale, etherial quality, accented by the blue and turquoise tiles and paint, but also by reds in the windows of the domes.

In contrast to the vast airy chamber surrounding them the crowd milled on a red carpet, every woman in a headscarf of course, even the westerners, and many men wearing the long cloth skirts they hand out as you enter to cover anyone in shorts. The hustle and bustle of the jostling people in their many colours was for me, an integral part of the view. I always find myself watching the watchers.

Elections and Princes Islands

Istanbul - view from ferry

On the eve of the Turkish election, the most important in 30 years which had everyone holding their breath as the Kurds waited to see if they could get enough percentage for representation, we took a trip to one of the Princes Islands. This is the view, leaving Istanbul on the ferry.

We walked to the top of the island and saw a wild horse, and sat, and sang, and looked at the sea. We returned to feast on meze at the house of our turkish friend and to celebrate the outcome of the election.

When we got on the boat to return ‘home’ to Istanbul and our hostel it was full of people dancing and celebrating and playing music. The atmosphere was incredible. The celebrations lasted the whole time we were there….. huge crowds in the street.

Istanbul – i’ll miss you and your colours, crowds and junk shops, steep streets and fine food, and fine people – I’ll be back again. Soon I hope.

Returned - Renewed

Returned – Renewed

One last memory for which I haven’t a picture – Waseem in the Juice shop – thank you for your sanctuary and sharing in our music in a moment that was needed. And for the token, hanging in my window.

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Artist in Residence

architecture, art, drawing, Exhibition, Illustration, location drawing, location painting, Painting

I am happy to say I have asked to be an artist in residence at the Caravanserai project in Canning Town following the 21Artists exhibition in late November for which I created and showed artwork based around the local area. The piece itself can be seen in progress below and further images and details on the project found here.

http://caravanserai.org.uk/artists-in-residence/

an-east-paint

I look forward to working on future projects with Caravanserai. 

Exhibition this Saturday in Canning Town

architecture, art, drawing, Exhibition, location drawing, location painting, Painting

This Project 21 exhibition on Saturday 30th November is part of the Night Light Canning Town event.

Project 21

Project 21 – Collaboration between 21 different artists and disciplines at the caravanserai space in Canning Town.

My part in the exhibition will be based on large-scale drawings inspired the local architecture, urban environment and population. For me this is quite a new way of working. I am used to making small fast drawings. Research has been done in this way, by cycling around and drawing the local area, and the work itself will be started the day before and completed on the day of the exhibition. In scale and rapid completion of an entire composition this is experimental for me but I think this approach will lend itself to the work.

The idea:

Title: Structure, Shift, Lift and Lay.
Medium: Ink, Acrylic & Paper
Size: The inside of big box. Three walls and a ceiling roughly 8 ft square.

:

Structure, Shift, Lift and Lay  is a landscape piece drawn from the developing urban area of Canning Town. The piece allows the viewer to stand back and get an overview of the area’s many layers, structures and environments existing side by side; the residential, the docks, industry, modern monoliths, old buildings, fast trains and roads, the hovering cable cars and the river.  The changes taking place are vast and structural and in their wake is the cultural shift of the area with all its social and commercial potential for both creation and destruction.  These changes can be seen in both negative and positive ways by different people; residents, investors, contractors, and local businesses. This piece offers for contemplation a compacted glimpse of the vast structural systems within which, and through which, all these people relate.

 

Camden Views

architecture, art, Camden, Camden Market, Design, drawing, Illustration, Market Stall

After a while away I am back around Camden and making some locally based work.

I’ll may soon be back on the Camden Market proper again but for now I’ll be sitting on the high-street bridge over the lock in Camden on weekends and other days working on drawings and selling my newest work, a departure from the abstract and figurative focus.

These two are drawn from the same position on the bridge, click on them to see the full pictures –

If you would like prints or to ask about the originals please email me. I am also able to frame my work, please inquire.