I have been drawing from the Naze Tower. Built in 1720 as a seamark by Trinity House and over 26m tall, it has 8 floors linked by a 111-step cast iron spiral staircase. From the top there are extensive views over the Naze, the Backwaters and South towards Walton-on-the-Naze and Frinton-on-Sea. The Tower opened to the public in 2004 and contains a small museum, a teashop and several floors of art gallery.
I have often thought it would be interesting to work from the top of the Tower, so when it reopened for the season on 1st April I began making drawings, mapping out the view. I think what I’m interested in is that sense of flight and disorientating vertigo; watching gulls and jackdaws wheeling below, between me and the ground begins to disrupt a normal sense of up and down, of ground and horizon and of how you orientate what you see.
In the studio I’m beginning to look at ways to break up the coherence of the painting surface, so it doesn’t very quickly become a view, but has a sense of wheeling bird-like over and in the space of the landscape.
There is a nice circularity to this as I have been invited to exhibit some of the resulting work in the Tower in June this year. News to follow…