From Nigel Peake’s book “Maps”:
Documenting small time adventures and excursions outwith a mile radius from where I call home. From train rides facing backwards, to crammed bus rides in tiny hill-top towns, to bike rides through the backyards of Europe. Records of the vast, unyielding concrete miles of Shanghai, to the paths between mountains and forests in late night French countryside to the old paint splattered wooden floor in London that I sleep on from time to time. In addition to this there are also some imaginings of possible places – cities built from train tunnels and underground arches to invisible concrete cities.
Born in Ireland, Nigel Peake graduated with distinction from Edinburgh university. His thesis received a commendation at the RIBA silver medal award. A published author of Princeton Architectural Press, then he worked on drawing and design projects with clients that include Hermès, NY Times and Phaidon. He exhibited his work around the world.
This illustrator works with watercolors, graphite and pen (he doesn’t like computer graphic). Indeed his style deeply recalls Klee composition. Nigel uses simple pencil lines, filled with brilliant colours.
Nigel Peake, “Maps”, by Analogue Books
The drawings in Nigel Peake’s new collection are all “maps”, though this is not immediately obvious. In the contents page, he explain his maps outnumber Calvino-esque fictions. These maps connect real places to his personal experience, his travel and adventures.
There is an obvious and intuitive appeal to Peake’s view, in which the mind’s eye is conceived as an unsurveyed topography of its own. His graphics appear as infinite, calm and natural landscape. They recall field’s appearance, because of they geometric pattern and soft colours. Nigel Peake’s illustration take the observer in a childhood place, where spaces and cities become beautiful pattern. It’s like the artist create new visions of real world.
Sometimes, this results in maps in which the neighbouring territories are a selection of fleeting moments, ordered and spread out beside one another. These are much stranger and more interesting than that sounds.
In the best drawings, the arrangement of annotation and drawing creates real poetry. “Guide to the fields, Ballytrustan” combines a series of what look like plans with fragments of text: “Floods in late may”, “On Whitsun Night”. Its peculiar mixture of solemnity and loopiness is reminiscent of some of Ian Hamilton-Findlay’s work.
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