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Architect draws comfort from lockdown life with sketchbook diary

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May 13 2020

 Architect draws comfort from lockdown life with sketchbook diary
As quarantine measures throw daily life into disarray the current climate is providing opportunities for channeling pent-up creative energies as architects adapt to new ways of working.
 
Finding liberation under house arrest architect Alan Dunlop has been breaking out by embracing new subject matter and different ways of living as he flexes his creative muscles.

Speaking to Urban Realm Dunlop said: "I've always kept a sketchbook, I take it everywhere I go. I don't think there's anything like a sketch to record where you've been. It's a pleasure to do it and because the sites are closed, teaching is closed and there's no university access I wanted to keep my brain active. I thought to keep a diary through drawing."
 
Beginning his lockdown diary on 26 March Dunlop began by sketching dogs, bags and interior spaces, expanding to include the garden and the countryside around Aberfoyle as the weather improved. Dunlop said: "My daughters also relented and allowed me to sketch them, they told me at the start to bugger off."
 
Best known for his evocative line drawings of buildings and infrastructure, most recently a perspective of a proposed tunnel to Ireland, Dunlop has welcomed the opportunity to branch out into figurative and landscape work. "I started life drawing classes last year and have been drawing other things as a consequence", says Dunlop. "I stumbled into architecture by accident. I originally went to St Martins School of Art in London before coming back to Glasgow but was too late to enrol in the Glasgow School of Art. There was an advert for Rogerson & Spence looking for an assistant architect so I applied for that and I guess I was quite truculent in the interview but I got the job."
 
This passion for art is something Dunlop seeks to instill in his students as part of efforts to hold back the CGI tide but may find favour once more as people adapt to a slower pace of life. Does Dunlop think we are now at a turning point? "It's a real worry especially for architectural practices, I don't know how they're managing at all. I think the element of working from home has been easier than people thought because of Zoom and Skype but I don't know what the future holds. Because of how suddenly it happened there was no chance to make provision for what was going to happen."
 
A selection of Dunlop's drawings are presented here.
As horizons shrink what lies beneath our own feet becomes more visible
As horizons shrink what lies beneath our own feet becomes more visible
Dunlop has documented his home studio from every angle
Dunlop has documented his home studio from every angle

Dunlop has traded bricks and mortar for Mother Nature as he documents a glorious spring
Dunlop has traded bricks and mortar for Mother Nature as he documents a glorious spring
Dunlop's family have slowly grown more accommodating to an ever-present sketchbook
Dunlop's family have slowly grown more accommodating to an ever-present sketchbook

Leah, 20 and Anna, 23, serve as occasionally willing muses
Leah, 20 and Anna, 23, serve as occasionally willing muses
Splashes of colour hold harsh realities at bay
Splashes of colour hold harsh realities at bay

The Queen Elizabeth Forest Park provides ample inspiration
The Queen Elizabeth Forest Park provides ample inspiration

10 Comments

Bill S
#1 Posted by Bill S on 13 May 2020 at 12:28 PM
Lovely to see a wee snapshot of someone's day through these beautiful sketches.
BASARCZh
#2 Posted by BASARCZh on 13 May 2020 at 18:30 PM
Not got to the “feet” section of the life drawing classes yet then ????
Danny
#3 Posted by Danny on 14 May 2020 at 08:16 AM
Hey Dunlop! really superb work. #2 Tw@t????
Nairn's Bairn
#4 Posted by Nairn's Bairn on 14 May 2020 at 08:36 AM
Very nice drawings as always AD. The worlds most laborious Instagram feed, but worth it. I like the empty Marlboro packet; if you excuse the pun, it's nice to see no filter - that's lockdown life right there.
The Bairn
#5 Posted by The Bairn on 14 May 2020 at 11:13 AM
....pretentious...moi?....
Angela Roberts
#6 Posted by Angela Roberts on 15 May 2020 at 12:42 PM
These are quite brilliant, thank you for posting. AR
Jason Ardley Scott MArch AIA
#7 Posted by Jason Ardley Scott MArch AIA on 15 May 2020 at 15:34 PM
I cannot yet see the Marlboro packet but the Corona bottles and pack made me laugh. Inspirational stuff, remarkable and drawn by an architect, who would have thought it.
Nairn's Bairn
#8 Posted by Nairn's Bairn on 15 May 2020 at 16:23 PM
@#7 Bottom right hand corner of the second image. Real life, not a manicured presentation so fair play.
Neil Smith
#9 Posted by Neil Smith on 15 May 2020 at 19:52 PM
Well done Alan, great sketches.
Dominic Innes
#10 Posted by Dominic Innes on 16 May 2020 at 11:16 AM
First on the BBC, Professor Dunlop appears in the media almost as much as news about COVID but in contrast this a good story and very beautifully drawn. Inspirational stuff, agreed JAS MA AIA.

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