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Works from the Architecture Drawing Prize exhibition have been selected by members of the Youth Panel at Sir John Soane’s Museum. Beginning with close analysis of the image itself, Youth Panel members produced short creative or descriptive pieces that reveal how drawings can powerfully impact their viewers.

One of the drawings in the exhibition, a digital drawing of a power station besides a stormy sea

Lucy Dabbs
Steps: Response to Entombment of Fear by Yew Yong Kyra Swee

Pushing out,
Un-stung into bleached
Waters. Shadowed taps counter
The framework in perpetual construction.
Glistening grey, reflective currents mirroring rays
Into marrow. Sheets mimicking beams mimicking arms.
The weight of the cloud is cut by cranes.
Vaporized to
Salt blue. Gazing
Into twinned gazes, its
Bones are foiled by ominous
Softness. From the roof, the plane is
Concrete. Fluent grids lean on hardened waves.
Unveiling through stepped wire.

One of the drawings in the exhibition, a complex architectural drawing

Ibrahim Hamid
Response to Fetching a Bucket of Steam by Jack Ingham

I was attracted to this drawing because it contains great detail. In the upper left-hand corner, there is a component which is highlighted in a darker colour. To me, this component looks like a mechanical aspect of the structure. Because this area has been highlighted by the artist, it may be either the main piece or a special piece of the mechanism. Maybe it is highlighted because all the other elements function as a result of this piece. Among the pieces, it looks to me like it is the respected one and the original one.

One of the drawings in the exhibition, a cutaway perspective of a building amidst a night skyline

Viola Turrell
Response to Here Everywhere: Orchard by Hans Villamayor

[Song pairing: ‘Warm on a Cold Night’ by HONNE]

Towers seem to topple, stack and climb in this distorted snapshot of urban life. As we find ourselves in yet another lockdown – confined within our all too familiar surroundings – I was rather ironically drawn to Villamayor’s Here Everywhere: Orchard, depicting a world not dissimilar from my own.

I imagine it is evening time in this fictional district, and the sun is sorely missed. In her absence, the convoluted façades of apartments and office blocks instead bask under the crepuscular glow of street lamps and Zoom calls. A night that would once have beckoned company and welcomed hubbub; tonight, the streets are hushed and stagnant. Only the occasional car rolls past, muffled crunches as tires meet gravel.

Exposed amid the forbidding concrete matter is a wedge of warmth, light and hygge. Something tells me the couple inside would disagree. Or at least I like to think that they, too, attempted to occupy their vast quantities of time with a punt at yoga, crafts and pampering, before taking refuge in mindlessly staring at their screens and ordering their eleventh food delivery of the month. Indian takeaway for breakfast, why not?

For all I know, Jack and Jill here may be thriving in this environment. But observing these characters, watching their millennial decor bend and contort as our own grasp of time and space slowly escape us, I feel Villamayor’s piece speaks to many. If we are to view our current situations as metaphorical ‘orchards’, as such, perhaps we can take this time to tend and nurture the sweet fruits that will become of our perseverance.

The Youth Panel is a group of young people aged 15–24 who help the Museum shape the activities, events and opportunities we offer young people. Meeting roughly once a fortnight, joining the Youth Panel provides a great opportunity to develop real skills that will be invaluable in a future career, whilst also meeting other young people, having fun and developing new skills and interests. Find out more