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Water, plants, sky and concrete coexist and intermingle in Wyn Gilley’s linocut

In his second place-winning Practitioner submission to Eye Line drawing competition, Wyn Gilley outshines progressive technologies with his Barbican linocut – traditional artistic craft in complex multiple colour layers

Barbican,  Winter Light.  Reduction linocut,  410 × 310mm.
Barbican, Winter Light. Reduction linocut, 410 × 310mm. Credit: Wyn Gilley

Wyn Gilley Senior architect, ArchitecturePLB, London

Narrowly missing out on an accolade last year, persistence has rewarded Wyn Gilley with his atmospheric ‘Barbican, Winter Light.’ The judges acknowledged the obvious coda of the Barbican estate as an architectural and social vision that seems unattainable today, but this did not detract from the Gilley’s clear love of the subject and evident skill in representing it. Depicting Cromwell Tower in a rare moment of warm, mid-winter light, ‘the reflected image provides a further transfiguring of the tower as it melts into the organic mass of water lilies below, creating a point where water, plants, sky and concrete coexist and intermingle.’ 

The judges all admired the skill of Gilley’s five-colour linocut, with each colour handprinted following the gradual reduction of the block. Winning last year for his oil painting skills, judge Alan Power was ‘struck by the beauty and delicacy of the foreground, particularly for a linocut.’ Fernie too liked ‘the complexity and composition of the multiple colour layers,’ while Shaikh was impressed by his ‘pushing the use of a traditional artistic craft in a way that’s outshining progressive technologies on display here – and really successfully.’ Jan-Carlos Kucharek felt the raw technique liberated the architect from self-imposed controls: ‘Watching architects lino-cut is like watching them enter another world.’

Eye Line award winning drawings from this and previous years