Pick Me Up Contemporary Graphic Art Fair at Somerset House: Review

A review of the Pick Me Up exhibition at Somerset House, which featured many of the illustrators that have graced the pages of both Amelia's Magazine and Amelia's Anthology of Illustration.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Pick Me Up- 2010 Ville Savimaa
Detail from illustration by Ville Savimaa.

Have you been to see the Pick Me Up show at Somerset House yet? If not why not? if you’re in London get your skates on and get down there before it finishes on Monday (that’s tomorrow): there’s no better way to perk up a rainy Bank Holiday.

Pick Me Up 2010

If you work in illustration or the graphic arts, this place will really get your juices going: part exhibition, part shop and part working studio space, all the people involved are superbly talented – not for nothing have about a dozen featured in my magazine over the years. Many have now become firmly established illustrators and their work a familiar part of the contemporary visual landscape.

I visited Pick Me Up last week thanks to the prompting of Thereza Rowe, who organised a twitter meetup with some other illustrators. It was an excellent chance for me to meet Kate Slater, who created some wonderful work for issue 10 of Amelia’s Magazine, and Jo Cheung and June Chanpoomidole, who contribute regularly to Amelia’s Magazine online. The lovely Simon Wild came along to meet Thereza, with whom he has helped to launch the Happy Journey Collective.

Pick Me Up 2010 Jo Cheung, June Chanpoomidole, Kate Slater, Simon Wild, Thereza Rowe
Jo Cheung, June Chanpoomidole, Kate Slater, Simon Wild and Thereza Rowe outside Pick Me Up 2010.

Pick Me Up- 2010 Thereza Rowe Poketo
Thereza Rowe shows us her designs for Poketo.

In the blazing heat we gathered in the courtyard of Somerset House, where Thereza gleefully showed us the new purse she has just designed for the papercut series by Poketo.

Pick Me Up- 2010 Hellovon
Pick Me Up- 2010 Hellovon
Illustrations by Hellovon.

The exhibition is entered via the lower level, and the first gallery was devoted to the artwork of up and coming illustrators as picked out by a bunch of “industry insiders.” I was very pleased to see on display the idiosyncratic work of Jess Wilson, who has worked for me many times over the years and appears in Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration. Hvass&Hannibal were also given space; you can read more about the design duo here.

Pick Me Up- 2010 Jess Wilson
Pick Me Up- 2010 Jess Wilson
Pick Me Up- 2010 Jess Wilson
Illusrations by Jess Wilson.

Also included was a Peepshow stand and a large space devoted to the publications of the Nobrow collective, who have created a huge amount of work in the blink of an eye, and are due to launch a shop in Shoreditch later in May. Issue 3 of the Nobrow magazine was launched for the Pick Me Up exhibition, and I can confirm that Topsy Turvy features another beautiful selection of illustration, printed in another unique colour range.

Pick Me Up 2010 Peepshow
Pick Me Up 2010 Peepshow Luke Best
Peepshow artist Luke Best has appeared in Amelia’s Magazine.

It is clear that Nobrow are sticking to a very specific aesthetic, which is driven by the process of screen-printing and is thus very different to that of Amelia’s Magazine: back in May I posted a blog about the Nobrow open brief for People I’ve Never Met & Conversations I’ve Never Had, but sadly none of the illustrators I recommended to take part were chosen for selection in the book. I look forward to interviewing Alex Spiro and Sam Arthur to find out more about how they work.

Pick Me Up-2010 Nobrow
Pick Me Up-2010 Nobrow
Pick Me Up-2010 Nobrow
The Nobrow stand.

On the upper level each room was given over to a different collective, with the biggest room reserved for a Rob Ryan pop-up studio, the walls lined haphazardly with imagery from Rob’s huge back catalogue. There was a girl beavering away in the midst of it all but I didn’t see Rob, and wonder how much time he will have had to spend at the Pick Me Up exhibition.

Pick Me Up-2010 Rob Ryan
Pick Me Up-2010 Rob Ryan
Pick Me Up-2010 Rob Ryan
Pick Me Up-2010 Rob Ryan
This last piece by Rob Ryan is a version of the front cover that he originally designed for issue 02 of Amelia’s Magazine.

In the other rooms there was live screen printing from the Print Club London, a pop up Concrete Hermit shop featuring my very own Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration (I had my launch party at their shop in Hoxton), and work from various other collectives, including Nous Vous, It’s Nice That, Le Gun, Evening Tweed and a live project with Landfill Editions.

Pick Me Up-2010 Print Club London
Pick Me Up-2010 Print Club London
Print Club London in effect.

Pick Me Up 2010 Concrete Hermit
Artwork in the Concrete Hermit space.

Pick Me Up 2010 Concrete Hermit
Someone flicking through Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration at Concrete Hermit.

Pick Me Up-2010 Nous Vous
Members of the Nous Vous Collective.

Printing live on an old Risograph printing machine Landfill Editions were inviting a series of illustrators to interpret the collection of trinkets previously held in these galleries in Somerset House. The Risograph is an interesting beast, which can be used to overlay separate colours, thus producing a final outcome much like that of traditional screenprinting.

Pick Me Up-2010 Landfill Editions
The Risograph.

Pick Me Up-2010 Landfill Editions Colin Henderson
Landfill Editions booklet by Colin Henderson.

Pick Me Up-2010 Landfill Editions Jim Soten
Landfill Editions print by Jim Stoten.

Pick Me Up-2010 Landfill Editions Adrian Fleet
Landfill Editions print by Adrian Fleet.

Work on the walls included illustrations by Colin Henderson, who appeared in issue 04 of Amelia’s Magazine, Jim Stoten, who created the front cover of issue 06, Mike Perry, who did the back cover of issue 05 and Adrian Fleet, who produced work for issue 10. Dan Has Potential, who we wrote about here, was working on a piece whilst we were given a tour of the Risograph, and Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration contributor Karolin Schnoor arrived to start on her contribution as we were leaving.

Pick Me Up 2010 Landfill Editions Dan Has Potential
Dan Has Potential gets stuck in to his artwork.

Pick Me Up 2010 Landfill Editions Karolin Schnoor
Karolin Schnoor comes pre-prepared.

The illustration and design work at Pick Me Up is fabulous, and there’s a great line up of workshops and visiting artists… but I wish they’d asked me to contribute as well. Not just for purely selfish reasons of ego, but because I can’t help feeling that a certain type of illustration was missing. Maybe something a bit less graphic, a bit more feminine, a bit less obviously of the moment. There were glimpses of this sort of work, particularly in the form of talks from the lovely Anorak Magazine, but not enough. There was also absolutely no consideration of sustainability in design, which I feel is unforgiveable: some of the artists who contribute so readily to Amelia’s Magazine could have filled these gaps and provided some welcome diversity.

Pick Me Up 2010 Ville Savimaa
Pick Me Up 2010 Ville Savimaa
Pick Me Up 2010 Ville Savimaa
Pick Me Up 2010 Ville Savimaa
I loved this work by Finish artist Ville Savimaa.

In the meantime read on for a few more tasters of the fabulous artwork on offer at Pick Me Up and make sure you get down there whilst you can: not least because of the limited edition prints available exclusively at the shop for the duration of the exhibition only.

Pick Me Up-2010 Mathis Rekowski
Pick Me Up-2010 Mathis Rekowski
Pick Me Up 2010 Mathis Rekowski
Pick Me Up-2010 Mathis Rekowski
Illustrations by Mathis Rekowski.

Pick Me Up-2010 Siggi Eggertsson
A huge quilt by Siggi Eggertsson.

Pick Me Up-2010 Andy Gilmore
Detail from Andy Gilmore.

Pick Me Up 2010 Peepshow
Part of Peepshow.

Pick Me Up 2010 patrick gildersleeves
Pick Me Up 2010 patrick gildersleeves
Pick Me Up 2010 patrick gildersleeves
Pick Me Up 2010 patrick gildersleeves
Wonderful work from Patrick Gildersleeves.

Pick Me Up 2010 Natsko Seki
Pick Me Up 2010 Natsko Seki
Pick Me Up 2010 Natsko Seki
Pick Me Up 2010 Natsko Seki
Wonderful details from work by Natsko Seki.

Pick Me Up2010 Natsko seki

Pick Me Up 2010 Alex Trochut
Fabulous fonts from Alex Trochut.

Pick Me Up 2010 Claire Scully
Wolf poster from Claire Scully.

Pick Me Up 2010 Job Wouters
Typography by Job Wouters.

Pick Me Up2010
Prints for sale in the Pick Me Up shop: get on down there quick.

You can see a fab set of Flickr images courtesy of Jo Cheung here and she blogs about her visit to Pick Me Up with reference to this article here.

Tags:

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Similar Posts:

5 Responses to “Pick Me Up Contemporary Graphic Art Fair at Somerset House: Review”

  1. [...] Magazine: Screenshot of the article about Pick Me Up with a picture of us posing. [...]

  2. Looks fab, on my way today! Great review.

  3. Amelia says:

    Thanks Helen, I hope you enjoy it and don’t get stuck in this nutty weather. Amelia x

  4. rob r says:

    Hey Amelia,
    I must have missed you, I was, believe it or not, there in person everyday for the whole 12 days ! It was exhausting (being nice all that time !) but very lovely meeting a LOT of people very enthusiastic about the whole process etc !!
    Hope all is cool with you.
    R xxx

  5. Amelia says:

    Hi Rob, blimey, 12 whole days, you deserve a medal. But seriously I think you must now have a whole new legion of adoring fans so I’m sure it was worth it. Lots of love, A x

Leave a Reply

CAPTCHA image