Thursday, 23 July 2015

The Exhibition | Station to Station: A 30 Day Happening, The Barbican Centre

Station to Station: A 30 Day Happening is a month long project/exhibition by Doug Aitken taking place at the Barbican with over 100 free events and the occasional paid one (although this is for pretty great musicians and so on!) Bringing together a fusion of leading international and UK-based artists from the world of contemporary art, music, dance, graphic design and film the exhibition is pretty frantic and quite typically 'arty'. Each day has an alternate itinerary and there is plenty to get stuck into, from an interactive digital laser commission to live studio recordings to a big white bed in a mirrored yurt. Yes, really. It's simply one to go and see for yourself as I'm still making sense of it and can only reflect on this photo heavy post. One tip - try and make it for the Olaf Breuning Smoke Performance. Full schedule here:


Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The Exhibition | Hear Me Roar by Skull & Heart, The Printspace

Even now with an extended closing date there’s still only 7 more days to check out the Hear Me Roar exhibition and I highly recommend getting down to the printspace in Hoxton if you are nearby. Curated by Skull & Heart, an online art gallery, the exhibition is only showcasing female artists and illustrators who are currently rising in the world of design. The pieces have been beautifully selected and there is something for everyone – the perfect opportunity to update a few prints in your home for an absolutely reasonable price too.


Keeley Sheppard |
Of course I was so blown away by Keeley’s work that I didn’t actually take a picture of it (keep an eye out for it on Instagram when it arrives though!) Her work is bold and refreshing with characters that you want to be/ need to be friends with. After looking at her site she’s also a dab hand at animations so definitely one to watch.

Kristyna Baczynski |
I loved the mix of purple, green and orange in Kristyna’s prints. I instantly thought of a friend who would appreciate the pieces but since checking out more of her work I’m even more taken myself. With some great animations and very cute notebooks, Kristyna creates a lot of mythical creatures and atypical characters, all with contrasting colours and detailed lines. I’m especially a fan of her patterned projects and unique illustrated typography. 


Kate Prior |
Kate’s tongue in cheek posters had me chuckling from the get-go so I had to claim one for myself. I love a nice thick line paired with a few brash colours so in a sense I’m sure that because I ended up purchasing a monochrome piece there will be plenty more to come my way. She’s also actually the sassy lady behind those urban outfitters stickers you get with your delivery and recently created a hand painted facade for the Urban Outfitters photo booth at It’s Nice That’s Here London 2015.

Ciara Phelan |
By mixing both analog and digital images Ciara creates abstract images that are playful and energetic. Although her designs can be vintage-inspired and pretty floral for magazine clients she can also convey strong messages through her work as showcased on a recent project on feminism for The Guardian. The collages shown at Hear Me Roar are entitled String Theory and they feature geometric, monochrome doodles along with a pop of pastel pink. Such a great use of mixed media to create pieces that are raw and edgy.

Here’s a full list of the all-female line-up:

Brie Finn / Bunny Bissoux / Caitlin Hackett / Chelsea Shoneck / Christina Mrozik / Ciara Phelan / Claudia De Sabe / Elena Gumeniuk / Ellannah Sadkin / Emily Forgot / Hannah Adamaszek / Hannah Truran / Hannah Waldron / Helena Perez Garcia / Jess Das / Kate Prior / Keeley Sheppard / Kristyna Baczynski / Laura Callaghan / Lauren YS / Leah Stewart / Liane Plant / Lou Hopper / Lucy Snowdon / Lynnie Zulu / Marjolein Caljouw / Miss Led / Muxxi / Pippa Toole / Sam Dunn / Shae Detar / Suzi Kemp / Tasha Wild / Yema Yema

Skull & Heart is currently on show at the printspace until the 28th July 2015, 74 Kingsland Road, London, E2 8DL. Why not combine it with a trip to the Hato shop as per my previous post? All of the prints are also available to buy in a number of sizes from:

Sunday, 19 July 2015

The Studio | Hato Press

Nestled away in the backstreets of Hoxton lies Hato Press, an independent printing and publishing house now complete with a shop selling studio stock in the front. Set up in 2009, the studio encourages collaboration and experimentation with the risograph printing process and all profits go back into the studio itself for further development and creations. Clients include Meadham Kirchoff, Urban Outfitters, YCN, Serpentine Gallery, Big Chill Bar, V&A and so many more. One of their most recent collaborations Issue 7 of Sheet magazine is available in your nearest UO store so be sure to pick one up to see some brilliantly curated work. After taking my guy along to the shop launch a few days ago his first question was 'What does Hato mean?' Actually the name is pretty clever. Risograph printing originated in Japan and one of the first private printing presses in the UK was called Doves Press (in fact you'll maybe notice many publishers are also named after birds). The term hato means pigeon in Japanese, a perfect title for a fresh, organic, rough around the edges London based team who want to pay homage to some of the printing heritage.


The shop itself is currently stocking a wide variety of publications as well as Hato stationary which has been created from off-cuts, mistakes and test prints. One of the long notepads has had a place on my desk since Pick Me Up and it has crossed my mind that I probably need more than one, they remind me of those marble cakes I used make with my buddies when I was younger. Flat by Jay Cover has been added to my birthday list due to it's bright bold cover and clean lines. It's actually a celebration of the everyday objects we have in our house complete with the addition of a polar bear or two - quirky and brilliant, surely one for the coffee table. Curious by Alice Bowsher is one of Hato's newest titles and features a charming looking cat on the front. Ever wondered what your cat gets up to when you're not there? Well, look no further than this for a fun little insight. There's a  piece of joy for everyone in the Hato shop so take a look on their website or request to pop along to their studios. Better yet why not print something with them or put forward an idea for collaboration, you'd be in extremely good company.
For further information:


Thursday, 16 July 2015

The Recommendation | Skull & Heart presents: Hear Me Roar

Tonight I'll be heading to Hear Me Roar, an exhibition curated by Skull & Heart. The show only features female artists which will hopefully make for some lovely conversation. I'm ready to see some eye-opening work from some of the most kick-ass lionesses in the design world. - full review to come in a few days!

Monday, 13 July 2015

The Up and Coming | New Designers Part Two, Business Design Centre: Visual Communications

Emily Meghann Taylor | Illustrator | 
At first glance I thought this chair was a pretty Parisian inspired piece but on closer inspection it quite obviously had a little more depth. It stood out from the crowd, there was nothing else like it and it was actually based on something topical – I have no problem with someone being just decorative but this really did make me ponder. The idea behind the collection is to look at different shapes and sizes of women (and cacti in the print versions of course). The two have been intertwined making for a great image composition and a beautiful combination of salmon pinks and greens.  It’s lovely to see so many shapes and sizes of the female form as another gentle reminder that we are all different - not everyone is walking the Victoria’s secret runway two months after having a child or even at all for that matter. I love the honesty of Emily’s work and she has plenty more featured on her site so make sure you check it out for more clean lines and eccentric doodles as well as a pretty grand animated portrait.


Jess Rose | Illustrator & Graphic Designer |
With Kate Moross vibes calling to me from the wall I was very intrigued by Jess’s digitally printed scarves and vivacious portfolio.  The design is based on looking at a common cold through a microscope and it’s a mix of grimy bacteria turned into a striking canvas of organic shapes. Jess’s scarves allow you to literally wear your illness.
With an obvious fascination for risograph printing Jess has also collaborated with pARTicle magazine - a new visual science publication which aims to break down jargon with colourful graphics, illustration and photography. Her style is her own and her concepts are unique which left me feeling very excited about what this lady will be bringing to the design world.


Augusta Akerman | Freelance Illustrator & Surface Pattern Designer |
Featured in the One Year On part of the exhibition, Augusta is a year out of her MA at Camberwell and has been busy creating exquisite nature-inspired pieces with strong narratives. Her designs explore a variety of subjects including climate change and the migration of animals, all adding an extra element to her illustrations and being a little more interesting than some other nature-inspired artists. Christmas Crabs featured above is a firm favourite of mine; it’s inspired by the red crabs of Christmas Island who migrate from the forest to the coast transforming the island into a sea of red. The earthy colours and simple lines of Augusta’s illustrations are endearing and delicate making them perfect for whimsical publications, I can imagine them in Oh Comely for sure. She’s even transferred her patterns onto deckchairs – such a fabulous idea!


Faith Earle | Illustrator |
The pastel hues of Faith’s simple designs screamed out to me from the corner of the room. Transferred onto wrapping paper, cushions and lampshades Faith is already aware of the importance of showing the versatility of her illustrations and literally advertising how companies can use them. There is definitely a sense of Sass & Belle in her drawings and I love the way she incorporates textures into her designs with a splash of ink or even some crayon experimentation. I can certainly see why she has been offered a placement with both Hallmark and Next later on this year, the youthful essence of her work is extremely commercial and pretty much all ready to go into production.


Charmaine McDonough | Illustrator |
Charmaine’s CV first captured my attention with its little aardvark character and illustrated typography. I’m a pushover for both endangered animals and hand-drawn text so it was a winner for me immediately!  I then noticed the wonderful 3D models including a Pangolin, one of the most magical creatures in the world, which are picture-perfect and highly impressive. There was quite a lot of children’s book style around New Designers but this stood out for me as you could clearly see Charmaine’s own personality reflected in her work and a sense of character development, perfect for any storybook.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

The Exhibition | What is Luxury? | Victoria & Albert Museum

The ‘What is Luxury?’ exhibition, a collaboration between the V&A and the Crafts Council, is full of brilliant designs challenging the meaning of the term ‘luxury’. Stunning marble columns stand at the entrance to the Porter Gallery framing the neon-lit title and providing the perfect setting for the content inside. The exhibition encourages conversation as to how we think about luxury today and how it may be redefined in the future, making for a thought-provoking museum visit.


Highlights include the ‘Fragile Future Concrete Chandelier’ by Studio Drift where real dandelion seed heads have been harvested before opening into ‘clocks’ and individually applied to LED lights to create an intricate chandelier. Luxurious furniture has also been created by Studio Swine in the form of ‘Hair Highway’ where human hair and bio-resin have been combined to evoke a sense of rare and endangered materials. The exhibition runs until 27th September 2015 - it's perfect for a quick, satisfying trip to the V&A. Make sure you take a trip along with your thinking cap as there is plenty of resources to create a luxurious debate (I witnessed some very intense discussions)! Like the foyer motto states, 'all of this belongs to you' so don't waste the free museums we are lucky enough to have...



Thursday, 9 July 2015

The Up and Coming | New Designers Part Two, Business Design Centre: Interior Products

Part Two brought more fresh talent to the Business Design Centre in the form of furniture, product design and visual communication. With so much taking my interest I have split Part Two into two posts. A lot of the furniture shown was very contemporary and minimal so it was nice to see the occasional pop of colour or an experimenation with process and materials. Here are the  products and interiors that took my fancy:


Jeddediah Presland | Designer |
Jeddediah’s Mameluk Plate instantly caught my eye due to the beautiful symmetry and organic shapes created for the digital design of the Corian ® plate. The material has been used to rework the traditional Turkish copper trays which serve as both table and plate throughout Islamic culture. You can eat directly from the plate, place it on the floor, on a table or hang it as a decorative wall piece using the purpose made peg. I love the idea of having this as a centre-piece in a room and then using it to serve food for your friends - dinner party bonus points! This is a lovely concept from a highly interesting guy who has a lot more to offer in the interiors field. 


John Hollington | Product Design
Specialising in minimal, ageless pieces John has a strong understanding of diverse materials and this allows him to create pieces unified in both form and function. The luxurious Pavilion Series Lamp stole the show and was inspired by Miles Van Der Rohe’s seminal Barcelona Pavilion. An Italian marble base combined with brass brought an upmarket Nordic design which is contemporary yet timeless.  The Chord Desk Clock showcases a playful side of John’s design work where a segment has been cut away to show the non-working hours of the day. John also designed a bird box for his own garden after deciding all the other available options were far too twee. The utilitarian nature of Nestbox again showcases John’s very specific style and proposes a long-lasting future. After a brief chat with John I was also informed he is opening a shop in York in September – I should probably get saving now.


Emma Buckley | 3D Design |
I was first taken by Emma’s earthenware due to the pastel hues and dip-dye effect. However, after investigating the technique used the project became even more interesting as a typical tie-dye dye, Procion MX, is actually used for the process. The dye is inserted through a sandblasted gap in the glaze, which depending on the size of the gap ultimately controls the end result in this highly unpredictable process. A unique end product emerges which is highly appealing and perfect for summer, or to add a bit of colour to any other season for that matter. It’s lovely to see someone experimenting with materials and pushing the boundaries of their practise in order to create inspiring products.


Allure Lincoln | Design collective | //
Students that have taken the initiative to join forces and create things as a collaborative always make me curious and Allure Lincoln did just that. The collective are exploring 3D printing and using it to create their exquisite bespoke pieces. With an aim to make their products accessible to companies of any size, the team are utilising the fact that this relatively new process is continuing to grow and create opportunities for small scale manufacture. I was first taken by The Hoxton Lamp due to its up-to-date look – it’s actually ceramic and designed by Sean Geraghty. With the metallic theme strong in my household, Amy Stoddart’s intricate Hoxton Candle Holder is an ideal addition to any room or hotel as the collective have envisioned.


Tuesday, 7 July 2015

The Recommendation | Serpentine Pavilion, Serpentine Galleries

Earlier today I took a wander around the Serpentine Galleries Pavilion. Spanish architects selgascano designed the 15th edition of the pavilion and are the first Spanish architecture practise to be asked to do so. 

José Selgas and Lucía Canohave have created a polygonal structure consisting of multi-coloured translucent material woven around poles in order to create a web-like appearance with an ethereal feel. The clash of colours certainly brightened up a grey morning and I highly recommend this for any budding architects. There's also some fantastic photo opportunities come rain or shine, so much so that I'll probably be popping back this weekend to see if I'm able to get some more psychadelic reflective shots. Open until the 18th October this is a great source of inspiration and was the perfect start to a grey day today. 



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