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The illustrated city: Glasgow’s disappearing independent newsagents | Cities

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Precisely observed and recorded, these cross-section and elevation scale drawings depict, in forensic detail, the working and living environments of a number of Glasgow’s independent newsagents, all within walking distance of my flat in the city’s West End. My intent was to celebrate their rich individuality, as well as the transformation of their interiors by shopkeepers over time.

Unlike the survey drawings of an archaeologist, which are generated to provide an accurate record of a site as left by its inhabitants, these drawings can only be produced through dialogue with the people who shape these places as their own.

Crafted in pen and watercolour, my work documents these unique and disappearing frontages and interiors. Since the beginning of the project in 2016, two of the nine newsagents recorded have ceased trading.

Newsagents are a rich topic of research, not just architecturally, but also economically and socially. They are often the place where as children we engage in our first monetary transaction, buying sweets or comics; or perhaps our first jobs as paper boys or girls. As we grow older, so might our purchases change, buying lottery tickets, cigarettes or alcohol.

These shops are assets to the communities they serve, and the owners know their customers personally; they are of a scale that means they can adapt and update their stock to suit demand. Whereas sales of newspapers and magazines were once the staple of such shops, these businesses are having to change and adjust in order to remain afloat in a digital age.





Adam’s News, Byres Road, Glasgow




Adam’s News, Byres Road, Glasgow




Adam’s News




Adam’s News




Barrett, Byres Road, Glasgow




Barrett, Byres Road, Glasgow




Kanco, Dumbarton Road, Glasgow




Kanco, Dumbarton Road, Glasgow




Kanco




Kanco




Cut Price Groceries, Woodlands Road, Glasgow




Cut Price Groceries, Woodlands Road, Glasgow




News & Views, Byres Road, Glasgow




News & Views, Byres Road, Glasgow




News & Views




News & Views




Park Dairy, Derby Street, GlasgowCeased Trading




Park Dairy, Derby Street, Glasgow
Ceased Trading




Network Newsagent, Woodlands Road, Glasgow




Network Newsagent, Woodlands Road, Glasgow




Network Newsagent




Network Newsagent




Rajous, Gibson Street, Glasgow




Rajous, Gibson Street, Glasgow




Rajous




Rajous




Tabak, Hyndland Road, Glasgow Ceased Trading




Tabak, Hyndland Road, Glasgow
Ceased Trading

Glasgow-based artist Will Knight studied at the Glasgow School of Art. Critiquing the often sterile, static and impersonal graphic representation of architecture today, Will’s scale drawings depict buildings as a lived-in experience. More of his work can be found on his website or on instagram

If you’re an illustrator or graphic artist with an idea for The Illustrated City series, email us at [email protected]

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