In 2015 I was commissioned by National Trust to create a welcome sign for Sutton House. The creative process was informed by a series of workshops with the ‘Recycled Teenagers’ community group, who generated ideas for the design. The use of embroidery was a deliberate reference to Sutton House’s historical associations with fabrics, from the 17th Century silk merchants, to lace making Hugenots, to the sampler stitching Georgian girls school students who lived, worked and studied within. The final work was hand stitched (and brought to life!) in 2016 by Alanna Pinho and Sarah, both embroidery students at London College of Fashion. The finished article now hangs in the hallway as an original and relevant contemporary artefact of the house, and a new detail in it’s ongoing narrative as a living/experienced element of local history. A weather proof print of the original hangs outside too, for passers by to notice and enjoy.
In October 2014, I worked on The Big Draw’s anniversary celebration of classic comic characters ‘Pip Squeak and Wilfred’. I chose pavement art as a theme, as there are several references to this way of working in the comic strip, as well as other elements of British street life. Hundreds of participants grabbed some chalk and made their mark on the paving outside the museum. The sun shined all day and the street came to life with pictures,created by adults and children alike! More details here:
As part of Bloomberg London’s Earth Day 2012 programme, I was commissioned by Arts Co. to create an installation alongside illustrated info-graphics. I am often preoccupied by the idea of refuse, artefacts and pollution in an archeological sense within my work, especially in relationship to mythologies and pop culture references. These are materials I use to explore narratives around world history. In my Aquarium installation imagery from the pre historical, classical and the Industrial worlds collide submerged, to create a diorama timeline of humanity’s impact on the environment. I was particularly interested in working with images of the water bearer as a classical trope, the shocking scale and nature of the pacific gyre and the irony of how cleaning products, become pollutants at an intrinsic level within the natural world. The incredibly talented Hollie Miller joined me to enact the role of The Water Bearer.
For our second group show at Silver Cloud Joe Duggan and I focused on the associated meanings of the word Cartoon. We interpreted the title as something created quickly, something physically animated, or something represented in a sub-real fashion. We contacted artists working with pop culture references, materials and narratives to create a kind of socio-political commentary around the title of the show, combined with a celebration of the joys of immediacy in art.
ARTISTS: Matt Cooper, Rob Flowers, Paul Kindersley, Sarah Bridgland, Lewis & Grimes, Sonia Shiel, Nevan LaHart, Cedar Lewisohn, Josh Knowles, Jake Clarke, Lydia, Jimp and Stephen Cornford. We also showed animation showreels on loan from the Rushes Short Film Festival and BFI.
In 2010 I was asked to draw visualisations of a proposed Thames Flotilla for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The artworks provided an anchor point to help pitch and produce the subsequent event in June 2012. In the run up to the event the main sketch was also used for syndicated press around the world from The Sun to American Vogue. Versions of the image also appeared on the official website masthead, merchandise and stamps in The Isle Of Man! Now it is showing in the Artists of the River pageant show at Pump House Gallery, Battersea, alongside (amongst others) Adam Dant, Chris Orr and David Hockney!!! More details here:
The first group show I curated with Joe Duggan at Silver Cloud we entitled ‘Elementalism’. Artists shown: Joe Duggan, Ellie Doney, Andrew Dodds, Sophie Windsor-Clive/Liberty Smith and Stephen Cornford. Check out the press release for more info. Reviews were favourable, including a 4 star review in Time Out.
Invited by Kirsty Harris I contributed this biro drawing to the exhibition at Drawers Gallery in The Haggerston Pub. The brief was to riff of themes of The Mexican festival Day Of The Dead. It made me think of unlicensed and improvised social gatherings in the middle of the night; carnal and possibly dangerous, taking place in unclaimed spaces. The spirits of dead relatives and dead wishes swirl in the air, around a wild woman handling snakes.