As someone who usually prefers natural materials to man made, concrete is not one that I would usually consider. However, without getting too technical a key ingredient in the cement which makes concrete is Limestone which is said to be one of the most abundant minerals on earth and, given that I live in Derbyshire where cement works and Limestone crags are dotted on the landscape you would have thought that I might have realized that concrete has some natural and sustainable properties...but I admit it never crossed my mind.
We know that as a building material it works really well, having the ability to be poured into place as liquid before setting to a solid mass like rock. Brutalist buildings such as the Grade II listed building of Park Hill Flats in Sheffield, built in the 1950's are a good example of how this product has been used to create concrete streets in the sky...
You may have noticed like me that over the past couple of years or so, there is a growing trend for using concrete in interior design with great effect. I feel that this is a trend set to continue...highly polished worktops look great in concrete as do unadorned walls in the right setting with their smooth and tactile finish. If you are loving the look of some of modern concrete light fittings or little planters you can check out a little more concrete inspiration here...
However, concrete is not new and can be traced back to the Romans who used it for various projects including the building of the Pantheon, the dome of which, is still the worlds largest non-reinforced concrete dome, the Egyptians are said to have used it in building the Pyramids and the Chinese in building the Great Wall.
Whilst concrete is often associated with Modernist Architecture, back in the 1920's the artist Henry Moore experimented with the medium, modeling, carving and casting 21 sculptures. But it is not only artists and architects that see the benefits, concrete has also been used in the past to build ships - strange but true!
In this space which has no ceilings, walls or doors... I would like to invite you in, and share with you some of the simple things in life which help to inspire my illustration work, from music to the places and spaces we call home...