Writing this I am sitting on a generous balcony in Cannes, France admiring the sea and relaxing after 6 long hard days of cycling from Bari, Italy. My body has many aches and pains which are fast fading away in the early morning sunshine.
I first visited Chandigarh (in India) when I was a student at the end of what seemed like an eternally long and tedious year out gaining experience as a young architect in London. The tedium provided me with cash though, which in turn provided me with the opportunity to travel. Chandigarh, like much of Le Corbusier’s work has been something touched on in the lecture theatres and studios but not visited ...it did not disappoint at many levels…
The buildings as seen in Peter’s fine paintings are practical and powerful, and have an interesting patina of time. Years of water, dirt and sun lend any building, but these in particular, a sense of being a part of a place - belonging within or around a boundary.
The boundary of the original city plan by Le Corbusier in Chandigarh is rightly respected and a sprawl coexists beyond. The plan of the city is an artwork a sculpture in itself but one which can be frustrating to navigate as I found myself wanting to take shortcuts across vast tracts of land rather than follow the grid! That might just be the youthful impatience or my residency in a medieval London plan, that was affecting me, who knows...
Peter Wylie portrays things as they are and I admire that in a painter no apologies some edits but largely things as they are placing an emphasis on aspects focusing the viewers eye on a detail or setting. It is as if Peter were himself an architect however he does not need to concern himself with the plan or its mechanics but on the visual impression. The choice of colour accurately reflects the reality and materiality of the buildings, he does not delve into fantasy but seems to relish the world he lives in for what it is. That I enjoy, so much...
It helps remind me of how important a grounded life is and how with what little time we have on this planet we must enjoy the world around us and engage with it.
For creative people this means recording observing and dreaming / thinking of the world around us and how we can make it better. Peter Wylie’s two paintings that I own are a constant reminder to me (as I walk past them each day) of the purpose of my life.
Sitting here in Cannes, I can easily remember the detail of them and the fragment of pealed paint from the actual building embedded within one of them. Thank you Peter for making the world a better place, and keep paintings things as they are in your eyes.
Chris Dyson Architect RIAS RIBA FRSA
Written in Cannes March 2019