There are plenty of artists who start young and begin to sketch when they’re still toddlers. Carl Lavia was no different, he started sketching when he was only five. The only difference was his passion for sketching fictionalized cities that were the products of his fertile imagination. This architecturally-minded self-taught artist was aptly nicknamed ‘Sketch’.
This London-based artist gained mastery over map-like sketches that were actually aerial shots. For this, he used archival paper, ink, and dollops of imagination! As Lavia grew up, his depiction of cities grew even more intricate. What’s amazing about his sketches is they appear like a map from a distance, but on closer inspection, appear loose, portraying an almost Impressionist style.
It was Lorna Le Berdonchel, a renowned photographer, who probably saw Lavia potential. She chose to team up with him in 2016 to undertake a project they called ‘#69Cities’. This ambitious project is an attempt to create large-scale sketches of 69 UK cities.
This project is certainly no cakewalk for Lavia. It takes him around two to four months to create the expansive layout of the chosen city. As he goes about sketching, Lorna captures the entire process in her camera – starting from exploring each city on foot, capturing the beginning stages of each sketch to documenting the ongoing process that ends in wall-sized sketches. What’s more, she also takes upon herself to secure exhibition space within each city.
Since their pairing, the duo has been on their toes, traveling to various cities. The cities they’ve already visited in England, include Birmingham and Manchester. In Scotland, they’ve covered Edinburg, Dundee, Stirling, and Perth. Incidentally, the Perth sketch will be on display at the Perth Museum and Art Gallery till January 2020.
Both Lorna and Lavia are keen to develop an app that will allow the visitors to explore each drawing in a 3D landscape. The duo has certainly taken upon themselves to create the urban landscape of whole of the United Kingdom in all its intricacy and variety. Their unique attempt has also started making waves on social media.