Cullen’s intricate drawings, full of imagination and intrigue, give a multi-sensory view of her subject
This is a commissioned piece, of Pullens Yards in Kennington. It took me about two weeks to complete, and is done in rapidograph pen on tracing paper.
I studied design at Goldsmiths and after graduating in 2008 I continued to work on my final project. I’ve never really stopped. Psychogeographic mapping is a concept that crops up every now and again and becomes briefly fashionable. Psychogeography is a way of looking at urban environments in different ways, recording sights and smells, weather and texture. It is a way of falling in love with your urban space, finding beauty and hidden wonders in the grey landscape and seeing beyond what’s there.
I find there’s something addictive about going to a new space and feeling that yearning to capture its essence on paper. I’m currently working on a new set of psychogeographies for my London show in November. The maps I create will be a record of the hidden palaces in the city. These hidden palaces are places, buildings and structures that are not well known but hint at something magical, something that offers a link to a different world.
The tenements at Pullens Yard date from 1870 and are still used as artist studios, having been built with craftspeople in mind. The cobbled streets are worn and beautiful, and every studio is a hive of creative industry. I believe spaces retain echoes of their history, and it’s nice to imagine that over a hundred years ago people were busy in Pullens, working on something to sell. I like the thought of that.