This is the first of four drawings I did of Detroit. I’ve never actually been there, but I spent some time exploring around it on Google Street View. Although that’s not the same as actually being there it can still give you something of the feel of the place you’re ‘exploring’, and I find it quite fascinating. I was drawn to Detroit because it must be so different from any British city: a mix of the affluent side of American civilization and, in recent decades, urban decay (associated with closing down of businesses, leading to poverty and depopulation) on a scale perhaps unmatched elsewhere in the western world. Urban environments can have some kind of wild element to them, and for me this is an example – it’s wild side has something to do with its spaciousness, the lack of people (at least on this road when it was photographed), cracks in the tarmac, weedy-looking roadside plants, the big sky… Yet I also sense a feel of pleasantly comfortable warm dry summer weather – probably better (in terms of physical comfort) than we’re accustomed to in a British summer.
Details: Pen; 2016; 30 cm x 21 cm. Unframed: original £200; print £30.
Included in the gallery Buildings / Urban