Canal Diary (2022-, work in process)


Canal Diary
is an illustrative project born from my year-long immersion in the waterside life of London in 2021. During this period, my residence in the northwest of London afforded me a daily view of the picturesque Grand Union Canal from my room window. This canal corridor served as a captivating haven for adolescent swans, ducks, and Canada Geese, all taking unsteady steps as they followed in the wake of their attentive parents. Meanwhile, a vibrant assortment of boats adorned the canal's surface, and within them, their owners exuded infectious cheer.

This enchanting canal wasn't just a local feature; it was intimately connected to prominent landmarks such as the Portobello Market, Westbourne Park, and even ventured through the iconic Trellick Tower before converging with the serene canal district known as Little Venice, ultimately flowing into the River Thames. As it continued its winding journey through London, it eventually reached its terminus in Birmingham. The intricate network of branching waterways resembled an enigmatic underwater labyrinth that kindled my fervor for 'embodied research.'

I embarked on daily waterside walks, dedicating myself to this endeavor for an entire year. Some days, these walks were brief, lasting only a couple of hours, while on others, they extended beyond five hours. This immersive experience became an addiction, compelling me to transform and document it through the medium of illustrations.

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@ Copyright Joy Chia-Yu Yeh 2023