British artist Olivia Kemp hand-draws incredibly detailed, large-scale works depicting European villages and forests, reimagined into mystical landscapes. She explains,“I draw in order to make sense of landscape but also to construct and remodel it.” Having completed residencies in Norway, Guernsey, and Scotland, Kemp says, “I build worlds and imaginary places that grow out of a need to interpret the sites that I have known, expanding and developing them across a page.” The impressive artworks include tiny details such as the plants and creatures that inhabit these whimsical worlds.
Using pen and ink, each gigantic artwork can take months to complete. Kemp admits that while she’s working on them, she can fall into a trance-like state, allowing the drawing to develop naturally. Man-made structures are often integrated into the landscapes—tree-house villages wrap around tall trees and historic buildings are dotted among hillsides. Some pieces look like traditional Toile fabric—as such one piece entitled The Archipelago—where individual log-cabin islands are composed in repeat patterns. Kemp explains: “It’s the best feeling, when a drawing starts to find its feet.” She’s often surprised when she stands back to observe the final result.