Now Christopher Brown has written designed and illustrated An Alphabet of London, as a sort of sometimes wistful, sometimes celebratory guide to the city he loves.
Brown studied at The Royal College of Art and later assisted Edward Bawden – considered to be the leading linocut practitioner.
In this book, Brown – who is also senior lecturer in graphic arts at Liverpool School of Art – claims, ‘Apart from some extended holidays, my entire life has been spent living in the city.
‘London has changed greatly since 1953 when I was born, and although that has mostly been for the better I can’t help feeling nostalgic about the city of my youth.’
An Alphabet of London then, is a merry romp around the streets of London, old and new, through the medium of linocut prints.
As well as the playful illustrations which take us through the alphabet – see Boudicca on a Boris Bike – this is also a chance to learn a bit about linocut.
Brown explains cutting: ‘Using three basic tools – a Japanese knife, a fine V tool and U Tool – I carefully cut out and gouge the design out of the lino.
‘Usually I know which areas I wish to remain black, but the transferred drawing is not simply copied when being cut; the design process continues until the last piece of lino is flicked from the block.’
An Alphabet of London By Christopher Brown is published on 15 March by Merrell.