urBanal

  • urBanal, 2013, set of 12 screen prints

urBanal is a cursory exploration into the beauty/ugliness of urban architecture, and its visual transition between the two as the day’s cycle progresses. Specifically, the work dealt with tall buildings that reflect their surroundings. The brutalist nature of urban buildings both contrasted against and camouflaged into – enveloped by – the vastness of the sky surrounding them had been for me, through my time studying close to Brisbane’s city centre, a constant source of fascination. Watching the degree of concealment ebb and flow as the sky changed across the day – and especially at sunset – was one of the small joys of daily life at university.

I decided to explore this tension – the unrelenting shapes of the buildings, square and upright, built tall and strong to reach the sky, paradoxically then relented to the sky by way of reflecting – extending – the sky’s already vast reach. This architectural masquerade of buildings occupying the space of the sky, returning a token reflection to the viewers whose view had been altered.

The work consists of 12 prints all up. The sky elements were printed in 3 variations: daylight, sunset and night. Over the top of these were either a variety of line-drawings of buildings, applied as screenprints in complementary colours; or cropped-in grids of the sides of buildings, alluding to reflective panes of glass that aid in the trickery. As an experiment, these various prints were produced on white paper, and on a selection of coloured card.