Archives for category: Illustration

I finally had a chance at the weekend to see the Hannah Höch exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery. I had seen bits and pieces of Höch’s work before but in this exhibition it was great to see how her style evolved over time, and especially within the context of history. Working alongside other contemporary collage artists like Kurt Schwitters, Höch’s work is playful and poignant, and creates a unique commentary of the social circumstances at that time.

The pieces below are from one of my favourite series – ‘From an Ethnographic Museum’ – completed between 1924 and 1930. I love their humour and sense of iconography. And considering their place in history, I like to imagine them celebrating diversity in a time of ever increasing uniformity.

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The exhibition is on until the 23rd March so check it out if you can.

http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/exhibitions/hannah-hch
http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/jan/13/hannah-hoch-whitechapel-review

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I love the slightly naive style of these paper illustrations by Swedish Fideli Sundqvist. They create a really playful take on the sombre and thoughtful Old Masters Still Life, and the unusual choice of subject adds another level of humour.

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Check out Fideli’s website to see the various other projects she has turned her hand to.

http://fidelisundqvist.com/

I have finally finished my most recent upholstery project. As per usual, everything is bespoke. I designed and printed the fabric by hand myself and upholstered the chair from scratch using traditional methods. I am really pleased by the end result, which I think is a very beautiful and quirky little chair.

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The chair is an Edwardian nursing chair that I bought at an auction. It proved to be something of a labour of love when it came to the reupholstering, and provided quite a few challenges. I went through 6 fabric layers on the top panel, from the last layer to what I believe was the original Edwardian upholstery. But I think the end result is striking enough to justify a couple of extra hours of graft. The chair itself is quite unique, and I certainly feel a little emotionally attached to it now after the long process I have been through!

I am really pleased with how the print looks against the dark wood of the chair. I struggled a little when designing this print, as I wanted the imagery to be the right amount of kitsch, and to compliment the gold leaf patterning on the wood. I think the colours have worked especially well to really rejuvenate this chair – and give it a completely new lease of life.

This chair is for sale now in a beautiful and quirky boutique in Dalston called Pelicans and Parrots Black – please go and take a look!

pelicansandparrots.com/

Just a small preview of a repeat fabric design that I have recently screen-printed ready to be upholstered onto a very beautiful chair. I feel like this design is a step into a slightly more commercial realm for me, and I am really pleased with how the chair is taking shape – there will be more pictures to follow once it is finished!

I have just completed a term of evening classes to learn traditional upholstery techniques – and here are the results! I have found the whole process incredibly satisfying. I picked up this nursing chair at an auction and consequently knew nothing of it’s history, except for it’s Edwardian date. It was amazing to see some of it’s past through stripping it all the way back to a wooden frame. And it is equally amazing to think that, due to my own handiwork, it could now last another 100 years. But what made the process really special for me was being able to cover something with my own design. I love the idea of a very traditional piece being juxtaposed by a completely unexpected and modern print.

The kitsch prawn fabric was hand printed by myself (although with some crucial assistance from a wonderfully reliable friend). It was interesting trying to visualise how my print would look applied to a chair during the design process – putting my illustration into a traditional repeat grid helped. And I think the playful print works really well on a smaller nursing chair – although it may now be more suitable for a children’s room!

I am hoping to continue classes to learn other techniques in the Autumn. I love the idea of being able to create something completely bespoke and individual. I am trying to take on as many commissions as possible – so as not to forget everything that I have learnt. So watch this space.

I came across the work of French Artists Pierre et Gilles a very long time ago – and yet it still fascinates me. Every time I look at them, I find something new about them that I love. And although many current artists and photographer may cite Pierre et Gilles as an inspiration – no one has done it quite like them yet.

Their work can only be described as multi-disiciplinary. The actual photography is only the end result. Pierre et Gilles were experts at creating incredible mini-worlds in which to photograph their (often famous) subjects within, building their own flamboyant sets and costumes. However, I believe it is the retouching that really brings their pictures to life – helping to reinforce the narrative created within them. Although kitsch and devotional, I really don’t know what it is about them that makes them still seem so new and appropriate for today.

Shine Shine has been created by graphic designer Heidi Chisholm. South African born and Brooklyn based, this clash of cultures really comes across in her eye catching repeat patterns. The graphic style is very slick and clean – and there are none of the characterful mistakes that I aesthetically associate with African textiles. However, the bold and often unexpected use of colour seems very typical. And the overall layout of the prints seems to take a lot of influence from traditional ‘commemorative cloths’ of this region. Some how, the two cultural references blend seamlessly to create something quite unique to me.

http://www.shineshine.co.za/
http://www.heidichisholm.com/

I have been a long time fan of Camille Walala’s pop prints, and in particular her tendency towards a ridiculously enthusiastic proverb-of-sorts. Which is why, upon walking into XOYO’s XO bar in Old Street, I had an early assumption as to who had been let loose to redesign the space.

It is definitely an intense space – I felt that I was perhaps walking into Walala’s mind – and nothing is done my halves. High impact is an understatement. But most importantly, it is a lot of fun, and it definitely makes people smile. Although I imagine it may start to feel a bit disconcerting once the night progresses…

Not only that, but Camille is also working on a very intriguing collaboration for Dalston’s ‘Land of Kings’ festival, called ‘The Walala Greasy Spoon’. Check it out here: http://landofkings.co.uk/the-walala-greasy-spoon/

http://www.camillewalala.com/site/
http://xoyo.co.uk/

I came across the work of New Jersey artist Micah Lidberg by slightly unusual means. Whilst visiting a printers as part of my own work recently, I saw Lidberg’s ‘Rise and Fall’ in the process of being printed for its second edition (which I think is on sale now). Created for Nobrow, ‘Rise and Fall’ is a beautiful, illustrated panorama folded into a concertina book. The illustration depicts a near extinct land on the brink of progression. However, the real beauty this edition is created from the printing process. It is printed in four slightly unexpected spot colours, creating unusual texture and an added depth. It is a really beautiful and unique edition.


http://www.micahlidberg.com/
http://www.nobrow.net/2790

Incredible, etched style illustrations from Raphael Urwiller. Urwiller is part of Icinori, who create limited edition, hand-printed illustrated short stories. I love the use of simplified colour separations to create a unique and slightly surreal effect.

http://raphaelurwiller.com/
http://apeonthemoon.com/2011/02/14/screen-printed-books-by-raphael-urwiller/