These delicate paper structures by Matthew Picton, on show now at Sumarria Lunn Gallery, look appealing as a work of art, but also contain hidden layers of meaning. The four panels are representations of Bloomsbury, Clerkenwell (a little dubiously), Waterloo and Southwark. More than that, they are charred to represent damage sustained by these quarters during the Second World War. Picton used official bomb damage maps to accurately scorch his cityscape.
And yet there’s still one more layer. The structures are built from the pages of novels that explore themes of love and criminality during the war. The Waterloo quarter is made from Full Dark House by Londonist favourite Christopher Fowler. Clerkenwell is constructed from The Ministry of Fear by Graham Greene. Bloomsbury comprises The Heat of the Day by Elizabeth Bowen. And Southwark uses The Very thought of You by Rosie Alison.
Urban Narratives by Matthew Picton is on show from now until 6 April at Sumarria Lunn Gallery, 36 South Molton Lane, London W1K 5AB. Entrance is free.
See also: our map of V2 rocket damage in the Second World War.