How did you get into drawing?
I’ve always drawn – one of my favourite drawings is a section through an airplane which I drew when I was 8 years old. But I really became interested in the type of drawing I do now about 7 years ago during my final year of university, my project was based in Edinburgh and I became obsessed with drawing the skyline. My tutor Alan Dunlop, himself an advocate of the use of hand drawing in architecture, is a very skilled draughtsman and always encouraged me to get pen to paper.
What has been your favourite subject to draw in London?
I am obsessed with skyline and towers so London is the perfect place for me to draw.
What is your favoured medium and why?
I always begin sketching with pencil but quickly move to ink and grey watercolour wash for shadows. I love the determined and permanent nature of ink, and the contrast and moodiness you can achieve with hatching
This year’s 10×10 grid follows the Thames, what does the river represent for you?
It’s the reason London is where it is, the bends and natural nooks and crannies has provided the perfect setting for docks and ports. It really began as the lifeblood of London. I also love the idea of the Thames as a connecting feature, it’s interesting how the context varies so much along its length from my leafy site in Fulham to the metropolis of Canary Wharf.
Who are your main artistic influences?
I love old maps and etchings and my favourite of these is a map drawn by Buonsignori of Florence in the 16th Century. It fascinates me how architects think through drawing, and I particularly admire the drawings of Carlo Scarpa, they’re so detailed and colourful – I’m scared of colour so I’m really in awe of them!
What is your favourite building in London? Why?
This is a very hard question – I love the Barbican estate, all architects do!
Was there anything in particular in your grid that inspired/influenced your piece?
My submission to 10×10 is a triptych of diminishing sizes, decreasing as the river winds its path away from Rowberry Mead, Fulham towards Canary Wharf. This work is influenced by the geography and rich history of Rowberry Mead, and compares Fulham to its twin bend in the river on the West – Cubitt Town and Canary Wharf.
Fulham began as the ‘great fruit and kitchen garden north of the Thames’, a place of market and nursery gardens which supplied London markets and was intermixed with fine houses, built for prosperous Londoners in search of purer air. Much of the produce was sold at Covent Garden, the designer of which, William Cubitt was responsible for the development of housing and amenities in the Canary Wharf docklands area in the mid-19th Century. Whilst rural Fulham’s main industry was market gardening, Cubitt town was on the fringe of a burgeoning metropolis.
Finally, the Thames, the lifeblood of London, flows through the drawings and the history of Rowberry Mead. In 1889 a river wall was erected along what is now the Thames Path and along the wall was a landing place used by the Bishops to access Fulham Palace, when river transport was a speedier method for reaching London than road transport.
‘Rowberry Mead to Cubitt Town’, Anna’s excellent contribution to 10×10
Click to enlarge