Westminster degree show invite by Seb Chaloner.
This year I shall attempt to review as many graduate shows as possible, particularly the illustration ones. That’s not to say that I will make them all, especially if I haven’t been invited and don’t know when or where your show takes place. Plus I may actually have to do some proper, you know, paid work at some point, which could actually get in the way of my plan (in fact I’m very much hoping that it will). Still, for now my stated aim is to cover what I can so that I can introduce as much new creative talent to the world as possible.
Beauty and Beasts by Clemency Tarrant.
Last night I swooped down on the final degree shows for Westminster illustration Ba Honours and Graphic Information Design at the AMBIKA P3 gallery on Marylebone Road, where I discovered that the boundaries of illustration and other forms of design seem to be blurring ever more rapidly – one illustrator even showed a range of puppets for their show rather than any drawn work.
Much of the illustration was not to my taste, which doesn’t mean to say that it was bad, it’s just that liking illustration is a very subjective thing and I have very specific ideas about what appeals to me. In this blog post I shall concentrate on the work that did immediately inspire me: I have no doubt that the work that didn’t will have been heartily enjoyed by many other people. Such is the nature of a review.
Sebastian Chaloner created the lovely image that is being used to advertise the show. He’s also contacted me before with this great little movie that looks at the use of non biodegradable plastics in the sea. And now would be a great time to show it to the world: watch What’s in Your Tuna above.
Sarah Kirk showed a series of atmospheric textured images of London named Isolated City, bubble cars from the London Eye apparently sailing off into the stratosphere.
I loved Izabela Wilk‘s scary clown man. Would love to have seen more of this bright style. Ferreting around on her website I also turned up these crazy photomontages of ape people, which are just brilliant aren’t they?
Ailish Sullivan showed a series of three beautiful works, of which Bone and Buttercup were especially lovely. She focuses on science for the inspiration behind these delicate pieces, which are made up of textures found at a microscopic level. The reproductions above don’t really do these pieces justice at all.
Elizabeth Eisen uses energetic shapes and colour to create her artwork.
I loved Paulette Singh‘s wall montages in the shape of musical instruments with faux naive portraits of old time musicians on them.
Sarah Leeves showed a fun patchwork collage of animals.
I wasn’t sure Mandy Urban‘s children’s nature paintings were supposed to have such a naive feel but this definitely lent them a certain charm.
I loved Elisabeth Lee‘s Moments. Her final project captured ‘the little moments that can go unnoticed in busy London life’ on bits of old cardboard. Everything from ‘a sneaky kiss on a crowded road crossing, to the bored looking person at the Eros fountain maybe waiting for a friend, or perhaps a date‘ are recorded as carefully crafted little vignettes that had a truly intimate feel.
Rebecca Kathryn Gray has drawn a scarily accurate vision of Lady Gaga clutching her breasts.
Clemency Tarrant showed puppets inspired by the use of art as a tool for communication in therapy. Clemency has recently renounced Wix for Cargo, an interesting fact for all of those who might be following my ramblings about which is the best website platform to use.
Rosalie Hoskins has created some wonderful work for Amelia’s Magazine in the past and I loved her Le Grand Cirque collection of characters on the covers of books, all drawn in her inimitable style using strong decorative black lines with bold colour. Just gorgeous.
From Graphic Information Design I loved the work of Nick Gray, who merged neon spot colour with curvilinear and geometric patterning to illustrate the human body.
I also liked the colourful pattern work of Anisha Panchasara and Sarrah Yusufali. It’s the printed textile designer in me! Anisha designs and hand paints clothing, which comes across in her joyful use of marks.
The Graphic Information Design display was very poorly lit which made taking a decent photo hard, but they had a very fun way of showcasing their business postcards – all assigned a letter in the alphabet which was laid out on a table.
All in all there was much to inspire at the Westminster degree show, but I feel I have to add just one final word to any newly graduating illustrator who wants to get argumentative about my opinions on twitter: putting your work out there is part of a process which opens you up to criticism, and learning to take that gracefully is an important part of entering the job market. I enjoy promoting creative work that appeals to me, but I can’t like everything… I’m afraid that’s just life. I hope the people I have written about above appreciate the time and effort it has taken to put this blog together.
The show continues until the 14th June. Facebook event here.
Ailish Sullivan, AMBIKA P3 gallery, Anisha Panchasara, biodegradable, Clemency Tarrant, Elisabeth Lee, Elizabeth Eisen, Graphic Information Design, illustration, Isolated City, Izabela Wilk, Lady Gaga, Le Grand Cirque, Lizzy Lee, Mandy Urban, Naive, Nick Gray, Paulette Singh, Plastic, Puppets, Rebecca Kathryn Gray, Rosalie Hoskins, Sarah Kirk, Sarrah Yusufali, Seb Chaloner, Sebastian Chaloner, twitter, Westminster University, What's in Your Tuna
- Clemency – Je t’aime (moi non plus)
- University of Westminster: Illustration & Visual Communication Graduate Show 2012 Review
- Wim Crouwel, a Graphic Odyssey at the Design Museum: Review and Twitter Takeover
- Graduate Show 2010: Westminster Illustration
- City of Westminster College: Photography Graduate Show 2011 Review