London Drawing

Exactly two years and one month ago, I shared two drawings which I’d done while on tour in New York. One was of the area in Brooklyn where we were staying, and the other was of the venue where I was performing.

Soon it will be two years since I started shielding from COVID, and what I’ve been able to do outside my home in that time has been very limited. Drawing on my iPad has been an important creative outlet for me, whether that’s been imagining the castle as a spaceship, drawing the shapes of my pain, or creating treasure maps for Bean.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been drawing London, the city that surrounds me, but from which I’ve been separated. It’s very detailed and has taken me hours, but I’ve really enjoyed the process and it’s helped me feel more connected to the world outside the castle’s walls.

An incredibly detailed digital drawing by Touretteshero of an aerial map of London looking over a bend in the River Thames. The drawing is in a bold colourful and graphic style of London as a colourful patchwork of shapes and textures. The aerial view shows a mixture of lush green parks with large open spaces, the winding River Thames with its many bridges, rows upon rows of different eras of residential housing, apartment blocks, office blocks, winding roads and huge thoroughfares with enormous roundabouts. Famous iconic London landmarks have been depicted in the drawing such as Battersea Power Station, The Tate Modern, St. Paul’s Cathedral, The drawbridge of Tower Bridge and The Tower of London.

After drawing my city, I decided to focus right in and do a similarly detailed drawing of the castle.

A detailed digital drawing by Touretteshero of a cross section bird’s eye view of her home where she has spent the last 2 years shielding; The Spaceship. At the top of the drawing is the street level in South London, a single yellow line runs along a tarmac road. Below this is the living room space where Leftwing Idiot, Ines and Ruth are all watching television and the garden area. The garden contains lots of potted plants and herbs as well as a sandpit and big comfy outdoor armchair. The garden floor is tiled in a soft foam navy blue tiling. Back in the living area, a clothes airer is drying clothes, 2 Kombucha jars are sitting on the windowsill and there is a large photograph on the wall of a child in mid air who has just been launched from a blanket by a group of people. Leftwing Wing Idiot, a white man in his 40’s wearing glasses, a black jumper, grey tracksuit bottoms and yellow socks is lying on a grey leather sofa next to the large mounted photograph on the wall. Ines, a black woman in her 20’s who is wearing a pink jumper, grey trousers and red socks is sitting in an armchair which has a colourful throw on it. She is holding a bottle. In front of this in the kitchen, Ruth, a black woman wearing white glasses and a mustard yellow tracksuit and colourful blue and orange socks is sitting at the kitchen table. She has her leg outstretched and is smiling at the TV. Below this room is the bathroom and support workers room. Touretteshero, a white woman in her forties with short curly brown hair is lying in the bubbly bathtub having a bath. A blue towel is covering her wheelchair which is sitting right next to the bath. Joyce, a black Jamaican woman in her sixties is lying on the bed in the support workers room. She is on her phone and laughing. There is are lots of rainbow coloured drawers in the support workers room next to where Joyce is lying. Below this is Touretteshero’s room, a bright airy space with a colourful gallery style wall of framed photographs, pictures and prints. Monkey, a black and white cat is asleep on a profiling bed which has an electric blue bedspread on it. A blue and white commode sits at the foot of the bed. A blue RGK wheelchair, an overbed table on wheels, a stack of folding crash mats and a large yoga ball with blue and yellow patterns on it surround the bed. Through the open doorway of the bedroom, Claire, a white Irish woman in her 30’s with blonde hair who is wearing a black t-shirt and white trousers, is walking down the corridor in the direction of the living area.

These two drawings echo the ones I did of New York, and my motivation for creating them was similar too.

In New York I was recording the excitement of a new place, new friendships and new experiences. While London’s not a new place to me, these drawings have been a way of reconnecting with my surroundings and celebrating my city and my home.

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