British artist, Ben Playle takes a look at David Roberts’ classic and renowned lithographs giving them a 21st Century update with his interpretation.
In September of 1838, David Roberts, a Scottish artist with no formal training arrived in Alexandria, spending the next 12 months touring and sketching Egypt, Nubia, Jordan, the Holy land and Lebanon.
In Jordan, he sketched the lost city of Petra, which though well known to the Bedouin, was largely hidden to the wider world. With agreement of a local tribe, he was permitted to camp within Petra for five days. Within this time, he managed to complete sketches that would later be worked up in to 14 finished lithographs.
Ben Playle was inspired by David Robert’s lithographs, which show the architecture detail of Petra alongside everyday scenes of rural life.
What started off as a stenciling challenge, has turned into a modern interpretation of David Robert’s masterpieces. Ben’s aim was to capture the light and shadow of the original lithographs, whilst bringing a fresh colour palette and new depths to these intricate scenes. He recreated the soft colour washes of the original pictures with the light touch of a spray can, cutting up to ten layers for each stencil and using over twenty colours.
Exhibition will run till 31 December 2020
“Please follow Covid-19 protocol while visiting the exhibition”

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