Residency: Westminster Abbey 2016

February - August 2016

This residency at Westminster Abbey gave me the opportunity to spend an extended period in this amazing, historical building. I wondered in and out of the Abbey at will, drawing under towering tombs and behind roped off areas. Often I would stay from opening to evensong, dropping in a few days here and there amongst my other commitments.

A selection of drawings in my studio after a few weeks into the residency

A selection of drawings in my studio after a few weeks into the residency

I found it incredibly challenging drawing the interior because Westminster Abbey is not like those Dutch Golden Age paintings of huge open spaces but is segmented into many little chapels, all crowded with tombs, stonework and memorials. In some corners it was almost too dark to draw as I turned my board from the hoards of tourists passing through each day. 

After some months I became aware of what really caught my attention and my pencil, which was the aisle around the shrine of Edward the Confessor and the surrounding chapels and much of my work is focussed there.