Sunday 27 January 2013

Class Distinctions

"Class Distinctions" is an exhibition in the Wightlink ferry terminal in Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, from 11th January to 5th April 2013, in partnership with Southampton Solent University.

That's my piece, among others from the Illustration (Becka Potter's lovely and informative "Curious Creatures"), Fine Art, Fashion Photography and Make-up And Hair Design BA courses.

You can (and should) read more at the event page from Solent University...  and there's even a tumblr for the Faculty of Creative Industries and Society.

Friday 25 January 2013

H Is For Hunter

The Fun Times Group is a bunch of graduates from Solent Illustration, including me.  We've been working through an alphabet, picking a word each time.

It's here on Tumblr and there on Facebook.

After a long Christmas break, I've made my "Hunter" piece, which is a calling card and advertisement for an louche and enigmatic big game hunter, Hilliard Hamilton, and his emporium of goods of questionable morality.

Wednesday 23 January 2013


My degree course finished in June 2012, so this one is a little late.

My degree exhibition:
SOUTHAMPTON.  All of it.  Well, as much as I could fit onto three metre-wide discs of paper.
I wanted to talk about the city's architecture, development and mythology.  From the idea of a map, the project became three separate pieces:  Places, People and History.

The process involved a lot of drawing, research and photography around town, mixing standard tourist facts with little details that I remember hearing about Southampton over thirty years here.

The borders are lino-printed by hand and the rest is a jumble of ink drawings and text.  I wanted to keep it light and immediate - which is tricky when every mark is final.

To round off the display, I etched two sheets of brass with similar images, for brass-rubbing.

The show was held at Solent's new studios, which were then opened officially by Sir Peter Blake.  I met him, but had no idea what to say.  I won a prize for drawing, selected by Paul Osborne, our life drawing tutor - an astounding honour for me.

Solent Illustration had a stall at D&AD's New Blood fair at Spitalfields Market.  For me, it made up in part for our London exhibition falling through.  I was awarded one of the thirty "Best New Blood" rosettes.

Since then, my three pieces were framed; put on show in the Solent Showcase over the Summer; then bought by the university; and now are at Quay Arts, Newport, Isle Of Wight.

Meanwhile, a similar piece -  a plate design for the university - is on display at the Wightlink terminal in Yarmouth, Isle Of Wight, along with other work by graduates from Solent's creative courses.

Here are some close-ups:

Thursday 17 January 2013

Tag Tool and Philip Schlee

Right now I'm preparing for the opening night of "Drawn Together, Drawn Apart" at Southampton City Art Gallery.  The exhibition presents the Philip Schlee Collection - new to Southampton - and makes connections with works already in the gallery collection.

My role is to draw with TagTool, a newly-released iPad app for drawing and simple animation.  The images will be projected live in the gallery's lecture theatre.  At the moment I'm the first up, followed by five other artists.

Several of us did a similar thing in November at Lighten Up in Guildhall Square, Southampton.  I have always loved the Civic Centre and the art gallery that is inside, so I was excited to be projecting onto a part of it.  I drew a lot of pieces from the gallery collection and was soundtracked by an electronic musician, Natalia Data.  There are some photos at the BBC website.  Here are some screenshots of what I put up:

I did some in advance and some live.  I'm often surprised by the results of a very quick copy - the challenge is to accept the unpredictability.  The portraits of women all came out looking much grumpier.  The huge beard is that of Lorenz Herkomer, painted by his son Hubert, a Southampton artist in the 19th century.

Tonight I have a longer session and I'll be responding to the Philip Schlee Collection.  The exhibition is about the role the drawing (preliminary drawing) plays in artists' practice.  I'll be playing with the different approaches to drawing and construction.

Drawn together, drawn apart: The Philip Schlee Collection of Drawings
18 January - 21 April 2013

From Southampton City Council:
The Philip Schlee Collection brings together drawings, prints and paintings by 44 artists working between 1920 and 2004. It includes examples of life and observational drawings, landscapes and compositional sketches.
Drawn together, Drawn apart reflects the eclectic nature of the collection and of the artists’ own approaches to drawing. The exhibition includes work by, Gillian Ayres, David Bomberg, Christopher le Brun, Roger Hilton, David Hockney, Peter Lanyon, Henry Moore and Paul Nash.
Philip Schlee (1924-2001) assembled the collection, with the assistance of his brother Nick Schlee, between 1992 and 2004.