Artist Lisa Malyon has an eye for the most intricate arcs and lines that form the structures that surround us. Her work mainly focuses on built things – bridges, piers and cranes are among her muses, captured in ink and on paper, with a touch of collage adding texture and a pleasingly abstract element.
“I have always loved the element of control in using a fine art pen and as a lover of detail it suits my style well,” she says of her technique. “I introduced a collage element onto the page, initially, to avoid the dread of an empty white page. The placement of collage paper, as well as giving my drawings a focal point adds texture referencing back to my textile degree.”
Textiles were an early passion for Lisa, leading her to gain a degree in Textile Design before “going slightly adrift with my career as a retail buyer.” She began drawing seriously after moving to Bristol in 2000.
Fittingly, given her new home amidst many of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s finest works, she soon “discovered a love of industrial architecture in particular. Drawing initially in a sketchbook, I progressed to larger paper.”
She adds: “I enjoy drawing the struts and supports in a pier or bridge as it helps me to make sense of them. Sometimes I wonder why I set myself such difficult challenges, but it helps concentrates the mind. Industrial architecture does it for me every time!”
Exhibiting at Bocabar Bristol in 2009 encouraged Lisa to find new possibilities for her line drawings.
“I attended a lampshade-making workshop at Bristol Folk House using printed fabric,” she says. “I replaced an old white drum lampshade with new handmade one. The white cotton lampshade sat on my dining table for weeks until one day I decided to draw on it.”
Lisa gave that first hand-drawn lampshade to a relative, and was pleased by how positively it was received. “This encouraged me to draw more. The fact that they are artworks with a purpose appeals to my pragmatic nature. A common misconception is that I print the lampshades but they are all hand drawn, and I want to keep it that way.”
Today, Lisa’s artwork, as well as her inspirations, are scattered throughout Bristol and beyond, including a selection of framed prints are exhibited at Hidden Art Gallery in Clifton Arcade, Clifton, Bristol, and original drawings at Café Grounded, Fishponds, Bristol.
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