Personal impressions of London 2001 – April 2004.

July 15, 2012

London is an endlessly fascinating town full of contrasts. It can be simultaneously ugly and beautiful, serene and chaotic. I guess that’s the case in any large city but the mixture of history and tradition mixed with all the trappings of a modern metropolis seems particularly intense and can make for a wild ride. During my time living there I liked to draw little rough observations of people in a loose and fast style. Some of these I turned into more finished illustrations.

This first piece I sketched up after a trip on the tube following a raucous Friday night in Soho. I then photoshopped it up retaining the original working drawing underneath to give it a roughness that reflected the mood. I was struck by the quiet dignity and sobriety of a young Muslim woman in full burka having to stand while all around her were drunken late night party goers of several nationalities. Women wore revealing skimpy tops and tight pants. Men passed out in their seats. The whole time she stood and looked on quietly. No one paid any attention to her. I’ve often wondered what was going through her mind.

I saw this amazingly tacky family posing for a photo in Hyde Park one day and thought I’d transplant them to that great tourist photo backdrop – Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament on Westminster bridge. I loved the self conscious pose of the grandparents who looked and sounded like northerners. The kids, who were totally disinterested, were dressed like it was a beautiful summers day even though it was a typically grey and drizzly London sky.

I remember thinking I saw this one night at a club called The End whilst dancing to some slick House DJ whose name escapes me.I call him as DJ Love even though he probably had a vastly cooler and more pretentious name even than that. It may have been the vodka…

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