Philip Walmsley’s drawings demonstrate three things; the relationships between solidity and transparency, interior and exterior spaces and underlying structures. The drawings, although conceptual, refer to both real and imaginary spaces/structures. He works with 4H - 4B pencils on Fabriano Artistico 640 gsm handmade paper.
‘Do you remember visits to relative’s houses as a child? Wondering what upstairs was like, how the rooms fitted together, wanting to explore yet not sure if you could. I still think about the relationship of one room to another, one level to another and the interior to exterior. In large buildings such as a multiplex cinema or an Ikea store, we have little or no idea of our position in relationship to the overall building. That curiosity underpins my work’.
Early drawings in his ‘Block Series’ were primarily of conceptual unidentified buildings. When negotiating complex spaces he imagines a system of invisible lines, perceived subconsciously which define that space; it’s density, depth and volume. He is concerned with how one imagines and represents moving from one area to another rather than documenting purely visible appearances.
‘I start the work by producing numerous alternative small drawings, my awareness of the abstract relationships of shapes are important as is the placing of the final image on the paper. Once resolved they are built block by block from the base up’.
The starting point for work in the ‘Division Series’ is the potential expansion underlying natural structures. The divided block allows the drawing to grow fluidly and enables him to play with the solidity and transparency of structures.
His drawings are a way of trying to understand and re-present these relationships. Recently he has continued to explore these ideas in ceramics and metal.