Changing Cityscapes and Engraving Architecture

As visitors to The Building Centre are aware, we regularly explore the relationship between the image and the built environment – whether that’s in the tools of architecture and engineering, 3D modeling, or Augmented Reality. But those interested in architecture’s facility to express both time and the timeless, may want to visit Anne Desmet’s show Time Sequences at the Long and Ryle Gallery, near Tate Britain and Chelsea College of Arts, in London.

(Brooklyn Bridge: New Day, 2015, Anne Desmet. Edition: 30
, wood engraving on Gampi Vellum paper)

The image sequences map explore solidity and transformation in buildings and spaces, sometimes via variations in the climate around buildings, sometimes in objects that look like archeological artefacts from an alternative present such as the ceramic bowl of Entering Manhattan. 

(Entering Manhattan, 2015, Anne Desmet. Unique piece, wood engraving & linocut print on paper, collaged onto glazed ceramic bowl.)

Desmet has created engravings and drawings for the Royal Mint, V&A, British Library, British Museum, National Gallery, Sotheby's and The Times. Elected a Royal Academician in May 2011, she is only the 3rd wood engraver elected in the Academy's 250-year history.

(St Paul’s: Lights, 2014, Anne Desmet. Edition: 30, wood engraving on Gampi Vellum paper. A print from this edition is in the collection of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.) 

Engraving has its own place in architectural history not least as part of process of gothic building where one-to-one scale engravings were made on the floor as guides for stonecutters, or as templates. The detail of Desmet’s engravings (though she also employs lino cutting and layer collage) gesture towards the flow of time itself chiseling away, buildings and structures changing before your eyes.

(Ammonite, 2015. Anne Desmet. Unique piece, wood engravings, linocut & monotype (printed from found lino block) on paper, collaged under convex glass.)

The show runs until December 11, but for those who can’t get to the show you may enjoy Desmet’s explanation of her process for her Olympic print series for the Royal Academy summer show in 2012. 


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