Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Intuition at the Whitworth Manchester

I have been interested in Outsider Art for some time and have finally got round to seeing the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester recently. The Musgrave Kinley collection comprises about 800 pieces of work donated recently to the Whitworth Gallery. 

As you know Outsider Art is artwork created by untrained, self taught or the mentally ill. Artists working outside the conventions of the traditional artworld. Outsider art and Art Brut has been a major influence on the development of illustrator's visual language. Particularly in "new wave" of illustration in the early to mid eighties in the UK, and its influence is still visible in many contemporary illustrators. I could name any number of illustrators but Benoit Jacques, and Phillippe Weissbecker spring to mind perhaps even Chris Corr. Although folk art has a part to play there too. Perhaps the current vogue for folk inspired artwork is a similar yen for the honesty of untrained image making.

I was not overwhelmed by the show as a whole but there are many interesting pieces in it. It was good to see some of Henry Darger's originals as I missed the show in London a while ago.The works that stood out for me were by Adolph Wolfli, and Scottie Wilson, I like the obsessive and repetitious line work of Wilson. Many of the three dimensional sculptural pieces were very good too.
It is certainly worth a visit and the show is on until January.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Design Week & Esra Roise

Norwegian illustrator Esra Roise was featured on the cover of Design Week a few weeks ago for an article about the rise of illustration. I rather like these fashion oriented drawings they are lively and well observed - if clearly based on photographs there is something of the spontaneity of facebook photos and snapshots about some of them?
If there is a trend I have noticed recently it is the rise and rise of figurative drawing in contemporary illustration, and particularly a return to traditional pencils and paint.
Anyway I was on holiday when this article was out so missed it in the newsagents if anyone bought a copy I would love to read it...

There is a title link to Esra's website.

Esra Roise is represented by the "boutique" illustration agency - The boutique illustration agency is a trend discussion for another post... check it out:


Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Alison Hardcastle and Lucky Dip

I recently stumbled across this fantastic, and funny, little limited edition book by Alison Hardcastle in my studio. I bought it a while ago at Leeds Artists Book Fair (I think?). I have a few of her books as I think her ideas are great! There is a link to her work and shop if you click on the title link.


Marian Bantjes

marian bantjes i wonder book

Marian Bantjes has a book out in October 2010 and if the preview images of the book on her website are anything to go by then it will be very interesting indeed - strong ideas plus decorative design of the highest quality!
Looking back through her site I was fascinated by her work with Droog Design, especially the part about working with manicurists to decorate furniture! Also the table with the laser etched message.

Starting Again

The time is nearly here for a whole new Preston academic year. I have just been away for a few weeks and find it really difficult getting up and running after a break - I don't know about you? So I am easing my way in gently by reading around and looking at stuff!
I have found a few interesting articles about creativity recently on http://the99percent.com/ click the title link to have a read?
If it gets really bad and you have a creative block you could always travel!!

 "You don’t have to cross the world to find a change of scenery or to place yourself in an unfamiliar environment. Particularly if you live in a large metropolis, world travel can be as close as hopping on the subway to a new neighborhood. The point is to explore, to try something new, to drag yourself away from your computer and get moving. As psychiatrist Milton Erickson put it, “Change will lead to insight far more often than insight will lead to change.” 

To read the whole thing follow this link: