You can’t help but smile at the sight of Jessy Pemberton, all rosy cheeks and red lipstick bold and bright, she is the picture of wholesome. The industrious girl with her fingers in many home-baked pies, bustled in to meet me for a quick juice in Fresh and Wild and talk ghosts, the weird and wonderous activities of the Pemberton clan, and illustration of course.
Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in knitwear design, Jessy has worked with the likes of Paul Smith and Jockey; exhibited alongside Tracy Emin and Mike Figgis; and worked with Cath Kidston on her book ‘Make!” – to name a few achievements. But it is when you come to look at her own illustrations that the world of Jessy Permberton springs to life, a fabric of its own woven together with home-made videos, a boundless imagination and a child-like sense of fun. I soon find that the simple question, so where do you get your inspiration from?, opens a window to this world, and all I am required to do is sit back, listen, and enjoy. By the time my carrot and ginger concoction gets to the lumpy bits, it is luckily only in my head that I say, ‘erm, adopt me?”
Take Harold the Ghost; pictured above with younger twins Chloe and Amelia. He comes to aid of children in times of need, asking only a small payment by way of some toast. One story involves a boy who gets bullied for having big ears. The boy calls on Harold, by post, who comes to the rescue with a heavy dose of bully medicine by giving them gigantic ears … But the initial genesis of Harold came from one of the many home-made movies (featured below) made by the Pemberton siblings, on one of their annual trips to the Welsh countryside. It’s also worth looking at their very own zombie film, apparently inspired from watching Braindead a million times over in early years.
The illustration of below is mother Pemberton, who does not drive and is accustomed to going to and from antique sales with her bike and trailer; a habitual collector to which Jessy has followed suite. The French Girl and Cakes comes from another story, Bella and the Sky, into which her family appear in various guises, and the last is a drawing of her dad in younger years, who apparently is the only member of the family that does not partake in their creative activities, thank you very much.
As the world of ghosts comes up against the straight-faced world of publishing we hope that Harold and friends will find thier way to tables and shelves soon. Jessy is also currently working on a top secret project with Rubbish Magazine. Keep your eyes peeled for her name during London Fashion Week.
- London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Blow Presents Fanny and Jessy
- Palm Ghosts: an interview with Joseph Lekkas
- New S/S 2013 Season Interview: Fanny & Jessy present Uscopia
- Exhibition Review: Ghosts of Gone Birds
- Girls Day Out: The Paper Eater’s exhibition at Selfridges