A collection of sketches captures a changing Fitzrovia

Alison Neville is an artist and a serious traveller, there is something of the gypsy in her soul. Much of her year is spent as a visitor to many countries. This month her recent work is on display at The Curwen Gallery in Windmill Street.

Woman sitting and drawing.

Alison Neville sits drawing in Rathbone Street. An exhibition of her line drawings goes on display at The Curwen Gallery in April.

Alison has journeyed from Waterloo Station to Cape Town overland, she has spent time in Africa around the Congo and Niger rivers. In Zimbabwe Alison is working on a stone carving project in a remote village which will provide a sustainable way to help that community survive difficult times.

She always travels with her Moleskine notebooks with her and makes drawings of the places she visits.

“Drawing is a language, I explore and learn about new places with a sheet of paper and a pen. I love lines and I love drawing.

“I travel with purpose, my drawings are diary recording where I have been and when, they are a travelogue of my feelings about a place. Although I am an architectural artist and etcher my work is about emotions and are a very personal interpretation of what is in front of me.”

For her latest journey Alison was commissioned to spend a month travelling round Fitzrovia recording her impressions to the shifting landscape of our neighbourhood.

Artist at work drawing.

Artist Alison Neville works on a sketch recording Fitzrovia’s changing landscape.

“I have mixed feelings to the changing face of Fitzrovia. My work is primarily driven by architecture and whilst I love the form of the classic older buildings I am visually dazzled by the cranes reaching toward the sky and I do like the clean lines of modern architecture. I think that as a visitor rather than a resident I can bring a different view to the area.”

Alison’s line drawings of Fitzrovia are quirky, warm and the locations instantly recognisable. Alison has a long relationship with Fitzrovia and The Curwen Gallery.

“I first met Jill Hutchings, 35 years ago when their business was at the Royal Academy. Since they moved Windmill Street (which was known as the print makers street) Jill has regularly shown my work.”

Alison was born and raised in Zimbabwe, she graduated from art school in the UK and spent two years in America studying for an MA in printmaking at Boston University. Her interest in buildings and architecture as an artistic expression started by accident when as a 19-year-old when she unexpectedly received a commission to draw some buildings in South Molton Street.

Alison is well known for her etchings sometimes using the aquatint technique, with a particular interest in architecture.

After this exhibition Alison is planning her next journey travelling to Hong Kong overland by the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Drawing Around Fitzrovia, by Alison Neville will be on display at the upper gallery at The Curwen Gallery, 34 Windmill Street, Fitzrovia, London W1T 2JR, from 6 to 28 April (open Monday – Friday 10am to 6pm, Saturday 11am to 5pm).

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