Saturday, 16 January 2016

Ziggy played guitar...

[by Nathan Brenville] For some time, I've been meaning to go and find the street where the Ziggy Stardust album cover was taken, with a view to sketching it. As one of those places that remains obscure and unknown despite the photograph's iconic status, it's my favourite type of location to sketch.

With the sad news of David Bowie's passing this week, I decided it was finally time to go there, and sketch the scene - as you can see from the photograph to the left, quite a shrine has grown up spontaneously, as people come by to leave tributes and pay their respects, from homemade efforts to DVDs and albums, to lots of flowers and candles.

I listened to the album of Ziggy Stardust on my phone while I was sketching; I aimed to finish the drawing by the length of the album, but by the time I finished the colour I was into Aladdin Sane. Ooops.

It was a freezing Thursday night, but I stuck it out. There was a constant stream of people coming to look at the shrine, sandwiched as it is now between two bar/restaurants. If you look at the album cover, taken in 1971/2? it was rather more of a dingy backstreet, just off Regent Street - now its location has inevitably led to it becoming a trendy collection of bars and eateries, including round the corner where the back of the album cover was shot, that now houses the Ice Bar (what a crazy world it is where people pay £15 to be allowed to drink inside in artificially freezing temperatures, but then go and sit outside in January, in England, and drink underneath huge energy wasting outdoor heaters?)

Note the mistakes. I try not to worry about making mistakes, but it still irks me that I can't rub it out the way you can working in pencil!



  1. Great sketch reportage and homage, Nathan!

    - Tina

  2. From over here in New York, I appreciate your taking the time to create this tribute.

    Best wishes.


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