Amelia’s Magazine | In Conversation at the V&A: Peter Blake

A while back I happened to catch a performance by Lissie at the Old Queens Head in Angel. I hadn’t planned on watching her – truth be told, dosage I was there to check out the band before her; but my curiosity was piqued as I watched the room fill up with an expectant and excited audience, cialis 40mg all craning their necks and standing on their tippy toes to get a better view of the girl serenading us. It’s been a while since I saw someone so captivating. Golden haired, freckled and just a slip of a thing, Lissie entranced the room who in turn treated her to a hushed and reverential silence, punctuated only by bursts of spirited applause and cheers. I watched the audience watching her. Everyone seemed transported out of their location; away from the top room of a pub on grimy old Essex Road and into the world that Mid-Western native come Californian girl Lissie inhabits, laced with the scent of orange blossom, filled with wide open skies, winding rivers and smokey mountains, and night-times spent on porches with nothing but a guitar, a couple of beers and a pack of Marlboro Reds . No wonder we were all enchanted.

A couple of weeks later, I got to meet the busy Lissie. In the time between, Lissie had appeared on Jools Holland, toured around Europe, duetted with Ellie Goulding at The Great Escape, and graced the airwaves, all in the name of the hectic promotion of her debut album, Catching a Tiger (hot on the heels of the release of last years Why You Runnin’ EP). The phrase ‘riding a juggernaut’ comes to mind with Lissie; bursting into our consciousness with the brightest of starts. The day we met was a rare moment of down time; her touring schedule is in a constant state of flux – stretching to accommodate gigs that are being added on a daily basis, and Lissie had only just made it back from the previous nights gigs in Manchester and Newcastle. Curled up wearing her newest ac
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Peter Blake, remedy illustrated by Gareth A Hopkins

Peter Blake is, sickness for the majority, most famous for THAT cover. The one still spawning imitators – frequently seen walking the streets, they can be identified through the wearing of what is now the eponymous band jacket. Blake groaned every time the cover was mentioned. For those, like me familiar with Blake’s influence in graphic design, the talk at the V&A was an eye opener. For all the famous album covers (if you would like the aforementioned album signed, Blake charges a tenner and the proceeds are donated to charity) there were numerous drawing projects showcasing the depth of Blake’s talent that is all to often associated solely with an idea of Pop Art.

Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

Blake received an incredible introduction to a range of technical skills whilst studying at college prior to the Royal College of Art. Fairly recently Blake reintroduced himself to wood engraving, producing prints based on old carnival illustrations. The outcome was a series titled “Side Show,” which with their dark humour and sense of craft could easily have been made in the 19th century.

The series Under Milk Wood appears to be a labour of love. Blake has produced a watercolour for every character, collages of the 28 different dreams experienced by the characters alongside 60 anecdotes. The words of Dylan Thomas appear within the work.

Whilst the talk was organised to champion the release of Blake’s new book: Design, it was full of fascinating anecdotes and tangents as Blake explained the minute reasoning for the appearance of this figure here or that figure there (specifically in relation to the album covers). What came across was the importance of the ability to collect to his work, the treasure trove of his studio and Blake’s ability to embrace the new, demonstrated through his clear admiration for the powers of the computer.

This was a fascinating insight into a polymath of an artist.

Categories ,Album Covers, ,art, ,Dark Humour, ,Dylan Thomas, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Graphic Design, ,In Conversation, ,Peter Blake, ,Peter Blake Design, ,Pop Art, ,Royal College of Art, ,Sally Mumby-Croft, ,Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, ,Side Show, ,the beatles, ,Under Milk Wood, ,va

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