Many Brightonians will recognise this month’s cover as the work of Linescapes artist Amalia Sanchez de la Blanca. The former architect has become well known for her artistic renderings of local landmarks, including the Palace Pier, the Pavilion and the Bandstand. “I think this is the first time I drew something that doesn’t exist anymore,” she says. The image is of one of the original ticket kiosks, which the West Pier Trust plans to restore this year. “They have enough left over from the original kiosk to actually rebuild it entirely and then install it on the seafront.” [The Trust are running a crowdfunding campaign to support the restoration; visit westpier.co.uk.]
“In most of the photographs I found, the kiosk was destroyed already,” Amalia says, “so this is
actually based on a drawing done many years ago – 1996, I think – when a group of architects in London were going to undertake the restoration of the whole pier. Then, of course, it burned down and the project collapsed, but there was this measured drawing that allowed me to look at the proportions. You can’t see very much detail, but sometimes I think the less information I have the
more I enjoy doing it, because I have to draw what I think it looks like. For example, the balustrade [surrounding the top level of the kiosk]: I found a photo in the Argus of a piece which was sold to someone at auction a few years ago. It was brilliant because I could not see what it looked like in the drawing, so I drew a sketch from the photograph and worked from that.”
Amalia gave up working as an architect three years ago to focus on Linescapes. “As an architect you
do lots of elevations, you do lots of drawings, but they’re always line drawings – I never had the
opportunity to draw them more artistically, with colours. I mean, sometimes I did, but my boss told
me off because I was spending so much time on them!” She still uses the same architectural CAD
software to create the images, but now she has the freedom to add creative touches, like the colours, transparencies, and even the occasional murmuration of starlings.
As well as her Brighton drawings [see linescapes.co.uk] Amalia has built up a large collection of London buildings, too. “My plans for next year are to add a major building from every UK city, so everybody’s represented. I get asked all the time, ‘have you done anything from Bath or from Bristol?’ Then maybe I’ll start doing buildings from around the world…
“Also I want to focus on my commissions,” she says.“I’ve got a very large collection of private houses that I’ve drawn over the last few years and I’ve also worked with galleries and museums, such as The Wallace Collection and Sir John Soanes Museum.” If you’re interested in commissioning your own bespoke Linescape, email Amalia at email@example.com with a brief description of the project you have in mind. More information on the commissioning process can be found at linescapescommissions.co.uk.