A while back, we set the challenge of drawing, painting, photographing or otherwise representing the hidden depths of London. Perhaps you’d plan out a secret Tube tunnel, or a network of caverns beneath Hampstead Heath. Maybe you’ve got a good photo of an abandoned Underground station, or fancy sketching the Wombles’ lair beneath Wimbledon Common*.
Illustrator Daniel Fennings responded with this, an imagined complex of chambers beneath Upper Street in Islington.
Grand Designs #1 is one of a series of drawing that I was producing under the banner “Grand Designs”. This was the first and was based on my aspiration to have a cavernous dwelling under Islington’s Upper Street accessed via an inconspicuous London telephone box. The room to the top left is the water harvesting room, where water is collected via a road gully and then filtered for use. Below that there is the foyer to the home cinema, with a year-long Christmas tree decorating the stair well. The central chamber has numerous doors leading to wherever you imagination wants to take you. There is the obligatory “Bond Villain” shark tank. To the top right there is the Master Bedroom Suite. Directly below there is the study and library. At the bottom right there is the utility room and a stair leading to the tunneling room…tunneling to where? who knows!
We’d still love to receive further submissions for the series. Please get doodling and send entries to firstname.lastname@example.org. It doesn’t matter if you can’t draw as well as Daniel…we’re looking for interesting ideas more than fine art. Originally, we were hoping to display the best images at the Bishopsgate Institute, but this is sadly no longer possible. If we get a good response, though, we’ll seek alternative places to exhibit the best pictures.
*Actually, don’t do that. We’d probably get into some kind of trademark/copyright dispute. Wombling free, my arse.