Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Homage to London's Downtown


London Streetscapes: A Homage to London’s Downtown


A series of historic downtown streetscapes by London artist Cheryl Radford, described by heritage advocate Genet Hodder as "a heritage lover’s dream," will be exhibited at Museum London's Art Rental and Sales Gallery during July and August, 2012.

"I love these streetscapes because they truly reflect the aesthetic sense of the buildings, and show a genuine appreciation of the craftsmanship in their heritage features.” says Hodder. “Cheryl manages to capture with great accuracy the details of each building, yet does not make them into dry linear drawings. The buildings come alive on the page through her artistic vision. This exhibit of streetscapes is an inspiring homage to London’s downtown.”
The London pieces are part of Radford's larger series, Streetscapes: 50 in 50, a year long project that the artist launched to mark her 50th birthday in May 2011. "I was inspired by my friend, Kym Wolfe, who did 50 fabulous things the year she turned 50," says Radford. "This is my twist on her venture." The 50 drawings are a combination of ink, graphite and watercolour, with image size ranging from miniature to 8” x 13”.

Some of the 50 streetscapes were sketched onsite in locations that Radford has visited, including during a trip to Italy with a group of London artists in the fall of 2011. Wayne and Rachel Neal walked by as Radford was starting to draw SS013 Venice, Italy just outside the monastery Istituto Canossiano, in the historic Dorsoduro district of Venice. When they came back a couple of hours later the drawing was almost finished.

"Cheryl was able to capture the essence of the location, with a pen and pencil. This simple line drawing accurately represents what we saw when we walked out the door of the monastery," says Neal. "We had to have that drawing. It’s a great reminder of a great trip.”

Radford fascination with architecture started in 2007 in France with a plein air drawing of a Limoux, France streetscape. She drew it one building at a time. After completing a section she would move down the street to draw the next section, and so on, until she had completed a front elevation style streetscape.
"After that I started to take notice of the architecture right here in London, Ontario," says Radford. "I had to travel half way around the world to appreciate what was right here at home."