Chris Leach’s Miniature Cities

Drawing miniatures is a challenging practice with an ancient tradition behind it and Chris Leach, an Irish artist based is not only meeting the challenge while creating contemporary artwork that challenges us as the audience as well. 

As part of his ongoing drawing project “The World”, Leach focuses on creating miniature drawings of locations around the world such as Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Rabat (Morroco), and even Micronesia’s own Palikir.

The typical size of a drawing is around 40 millimeters width and 30 millimeters height. Leach mostly uses a pencil and a scalpel as his drawing tools, and a special tool to polish the outcome once the drawing is done. The canvas is rabbit skin gesso stretched on a tiny block of oak.

The artist chooses to depict in miniatures outdoors scenes with an emphasis on cities, which comments on the vastness of these locations in comparison to the human experience. We suddenly see the vastness of the world as a tiny insight. Since the drawings are still quite detailed it may feel like there’s no room in there for us humans. Elizabeth Hatz of EV+a Matters writes about this aspect of Leach’s work and claims that “the work makes you enter a world through the compression of your mind but the expansion of your senses.“