An Afternoon at the Barbican



‘An Afternoon at the Barbican’, is a collection of 4 pieces of artwork that was inspired by a recent visit to the Barbican in London.

During my visit to the Barbican, I practiced some observational drawing of the buildings and people. From observing my surroundings, I developed a limited colour palette which I believe to represent the Barbican and the energy of the place.

I spent 20 minutes in various locations around the premises drawing shapes, layering textures and small scenes, to capture my emotional experience of each space I spent time in.

The centre is known for its architecture and art scene, sharp boxy shapes, accented with primary and secondary colours, which­­­ feature heavily throughout the buildings and outdoor areas. Walking around the Barbican, I sensed felt a feeling of perfection from the design, which I wanted to challenge through my naïve style of drawing.

As artists, we strive for this idea of perfection and if we don’t draw an object in a realistic way, then we are not an artist for some reason. Drawing line, faces and shapes without precision and control, challenges these ideologies. The result is freedom of expression and innovation.

Contemporary artwork and tropical leafy plants are displayed in pockets throughout the Barbican. They are not restricted to measurement or manmade shape, so through my naïve style drawing I wanted to capture this concept when drawing the buildings of Brutalist architecture.


Illustration details:

Collection Name: An Afternoon at the Barbican

Illustration 1. The Barbican

Illustration 2. Barbican Entrance

Illustration 3. Barbican Conservatory

Illustration 4. Barbican Apartments

Materials: Oil pastels on acid free cartridge paper

Dimensions: 29.7 x 21.0cm



The Barbican

Barbican Entrance

Barbican Conservatory

Barbican Apartments

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DESIGNED ON WIX BY ERIN DONOHOE