Portmeirion - a fanciful, playful, light relief

Ever since I first visited Portmeirion as a child, I was taken aback by it’s quirky character, I loved the colourful, whimsical mismatch of eclectic architecture blending into the landscape.

 I was keen to try and design a print reflecting the bright, quirkiness of this fabulously eccentric village.

Portmeirion was designed by Sir Clough Williams - Ellis and was built between 1925 and 1975, it’s style is often considered to be influenced by that of an Italian Village and pays tribute to the atmosphere of the Mediterranean. The architecture is constructed from a bricolage of fragmented buildings, incorporating sections from demolished buildings. The overall effect being a deliberatley fanciful nostalgia, which has been noted as an influence on the development of postmodernism in architecture towards the end of the 20th century.

The architecture critic Lewis Mumford described the village as ‘artful’ and ‘playful’, describing it as ‘a fantastic collection of architectural relics and impish modern fantasies’. The village could be seen as welcome light relief from what Mumford describes as the ‘dull sterilities’ of much of the modern architecture built at the time. Through Portmeirion’s defiance to surrender to the cult of the machine, Mumford recognised the village as ‘reclaiming for architecture a freedom of invention’ and the ‘opportunity for pleasurable fantasy’. To sum it up, he referred to the village as ‘a happy relief’ from the “rigid irrationalities and calculated follies” of the modern world.

My print of Portmeirion is now available to buy from the store section of my website.

Sir Clough Williams - Ellis .jpg