Fawley – Crystalline Cornices

A multiplate linocut printed on 145 gsm Zerkall paper with Caligo Safe Wash Inks.

Edition: 10 (1 artists proof)

Image size: 180 x 260 mm

Paper size: 220 x 380 mm

Mount size: 300 x 400 mm to fit a standard sized frame

Price: £100 mounted

Fawley Power Station has been a significant feature of the Solent landscape for nearly 60 years. To celebrate its fine brutalist architecture I have created a series of prints taking different views and using different printing techniques. This print is the fourth in the series.

This print focuses on the luminous ‘glass cathedral’ like glazed structure of the turbine hall at Fawley Power Station, with its towering crystalline cornices that creates a strong counterpoise to the circular control room. Based on a photo I had to consider how the perspective would change the alignment of the frame structure so I decided to keep the verticals vertical but allow the horizontal lines to follow the perspective. Hence the roof line is not level (it slightly declines to the right). The print was created using four plates; first the base plate with blended inks creating the first graduation for the glazing and the background to the steel cladding, then a plate with blended inks with a graduation in the opposite direction, then the frames and corrugated steel cladding were cut and finally the plate for the concrete panels to the control room. As usual with these complicated prints things don’t go to plan and you have to adapt accordingly but I like the challenge and finding ways to overcome the problems as they arise and it is immensely satisfying when you end up with a good print.

It is hard to imagine how a building that so few people get up close to could justify such a fine piece of design, architecture and engineering. Not only is it a fine example of brutalist architecture but the execution of the design in its construction and details looked to be exemplary.

But it was the setting that imposed that need for such a robust design. The natural beauty of the former marshlands at Fawley and the sheer scale of the building which can been seen from many miles away across the Solent, Southampton Water and the New Forest warranted a highly sensitive design. This glazed structure of the turbine hall was a work of art in itself. Sadly it was blown up in September 2019; it couldn’t have been dismantled safely so it seems that was the only viable solution.