Friday, 9 December 2011

Up The Junction (working all the way through the winter, the weather brass and bitter..)

I took a group of my students drawing underneath Spaghetti Junction last Friday (poor kids, I take them to all the glamorous places). Like many people I drive under and on this famous section of the UK’s highways frequently and I often spy places I think would be good to get out and explore. So, motivated by the current landscape project this group are working on, I thought I would once again flex my new minibus driving muscles and head over there.

And what a terrific location it proved to be. It was incredibly intense under there. These huge, cathedral like motorways high above us weaved across each other in a complex network of concrete and steel, while below we walked the canals that pass underneath with our sketchbooks and cameras. It was the deafening noise of the enormous amount of traffic that I found difficult to be around after a while. I made a few drawings, but it was too cold to do much even for me, but I came away thinking I must return again as I really enjoyed making the drawings that I did. I thought it would be too complex, but actually it was great fun, as I moved from one part to the next looking at all the spatial relationships. If you get this right, the drawing just seemed to build itself. But I don't think the drawings are worth sharing yet, but the photographs that accompany this post are. The top one is mine, but the others are by Laura Gale, occasional guest on the blog, and the photography teacher at JCC. They seem to capture something of the atmosphere of this unique location really well.

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