A Response to the ChalkUp21 Trail - Marcia Teusink’s drawing workshop on Deal Pier

Bright sunshine and almost no wind on Deal Pier warmed the participants of Marcia Teusinks’s last drawing workshop of her CHALKUP21 series on September 29th 2018. It is the building at the end of the pier designed by Níall McLaughlin Architects and commissioned by Dover District Council in 2008 that is on the CHALKUP21 Art & Architecture trail.

The Deal Pier cafe building at the end of the 1950’s pier is a bare bones structure. It has a pared down, matter-of–fact quality where nothing is superfluous. It could be compared to the ribcage of a ship. The anglers, walkers and day-trippers come and go, bringing a dash of life and colour to the scene but you always sense that the structure will be swept clean and returned to the sea and the weather. This gives it a timeless quality. Its romance is closely linked to its ordinariness. – Níall McLaughlin Architects

Niall McLaughlin’s cafe structure at the end of Deal Pier served as inspiration for drawings exploring form, angles and unusual perspectives. From afar, the building looks deceptively simple, but up close, putting pencil to paper, the drawers realised how complex and beautifully put together the structure is. We started out making observational drawings to get to know the building, using one point perspective, transparent grids and negative space as guides. Then we gradually worked into more individual explorations of pattern, textures, materials and details–this time using different tones of chalk to build up layers and atmosphere. After lunch we moved into the cafe, where we could see the amazing sea views framed by McLaughlin’s wonderfully open windows. Using mixed media drawings by Renzo Piano as jumping off points, participants used their research from the morning to further explore some aspect of the building that intrigued them, from the play of shadows through the wood planks to the movement of bodies around the pier. As usual, it was a talented and open-minded group of artists who came up with amazing observations and drawings. – Marcia Teusink