Just in the middle of reading this after seeing the exhibition at the Whitecapel Gallery in London.
The Kibbo Kift Kindred (not to be confused with other organisations with the achronynm KKK) was formed in 1920 by the commercial artist, writer and pacifist John Hargrave, who became disillusioned the militaristic leanings of the Boy Scout movement. Hargrove formed a new group based on naturalist principles with a social,economic and spiritual philosophy. An original mystical-medieval-modernist style emerged fusing Egyptian, Anglo-Saxon, Celtic and Native American styles.
Small exhibition but really worth a look if you are in London: Intellectual Barbarians: The Kibbo Kift Kindred 10 October 2015 – 13 March 2016 Gallery 4, Free Entry
Happy New Year! Having given up sugar last year and alcohol this year (not sure how long that will last;-) my monk like existence still has a few guilty pleasures; the vase fetish still continues unabated, despite our new kitten's attempts to destroy most of them. Guess it's just a good excuse to seek out more. Drawing them whilst I still have some!
Having a studio at home is great in lots of ways; no commute, it's cheap, and warm. But the downside is the distractions, some self-imposed.... I'll just make a cup of coffee before I start that...... and after 3:00 or at weekends....... Dad can I borrow a pencil sharpener, sharpie, elastic band, stapler, paintbrush etc etc, this is my attempt to find an hour to myself at the weekends.
Today though I might just pretend to be working and read the new World Of Interiors Magazine all day, can't afford anything in it, but always it a great source of inspiration. But first that cup of coffee........
One finished piece and a rough plan for a new image. I've always had a thing for mid century ceramics so thought I would indulge my 'vase fetish' with a series of images, first one will feature beautiful vases, dead plants and insects. I think it may be a homage to those dead insects I always used to see as a kid in shop window displays in the 1960s and 70s. Retail has move on a little since then ;-)
A visual response to the migrant crisis. Many countries in Europe, including our own, are largely ignoring the crisis and getting on with their lives as normal, making pictures for a living can seem trite and ineffectual, especially whilst people struggle to relocate their lives, often dying in the process. I have put this image on my shop as a print, all profits will go to www.redcross.org.uk/refugeecrisis "......One drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is an ocean, but a multitude of drops?"
David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
Some sneak peeks of recent tee shirt designs for CIBBOWS Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers NYC. A shirt design for each of the two main races at the event. Really nice job to work on. Thanks to Patricia Sener at CIBBOWS for the great Art Direction.
When researching the history of the postage stamp to produce an image for this exhibition, I was thrilled to discover these small personal connections which stirred such strong memories, and for me at least inform the story behind the stamp. This image (for what it’s worth) is for those 3 principled men Tony Benn, David Gentleman and Albert Murray who have all informed, inspired and enriched me.
Preparing prints for the forth coming ‘Pushing The Envelope’ exhibition, celebrating the 175 th anniversary of the postage stamp, held at House of Illustration -London from May 6th onwards. Massive thanks to artist / illustrator and master print maker John Powell Jones who helped me print the limited edition, 4 colour images on to brown card envelopes.
Last weekend I was in Whitby fossil hunting with my daughter, after freezing our backsides off on the beaches we took shelter in the towns cafes to warm up, we also happened upon a great little exhibition of Keith Pattison photographs recording the unrest and economic fall out of the miners strikes and shipyard closers in Yorkshire and the NorthEast in the 1980s. These events are over 30 years old, even though I remember the events quite clearly, it felt like visual archeology. Two things struck me whilst looking at the images; Firstly how much the country has changed on the surface, how unprepared and ill equipped both police and miners looked for such violent clashes. How militarised the British police look now, and how these days the miners would have been using social media and mobiles to coordinate events.
Secondly how much circumstances haven't changed since the 1980s and all of that social and economic unrest. We were told at the time unions were too powerful, the work force was flabby and uncompetitive, this had to change radically. Homelessness, unemployment, greed, outscoring and privatisation, privilege not meritocracy, selling off the family silver, overpriced housing, economic turmoil. 1980 or 2015?
All of Thatchers "enemy within" nonsense and the continuation of that dogma with Blair later on. "Much of what she wanted to do in the 1980s was inevitable, a consequence not of ideology but of social and economic change." Blair said, "Mrs Thatcher was absolutely on the side of history."
Some how I don't think so Tony, now look at us, hardly any industrial base, crumbling infrastructure, economically vulnerable, unsure of our place in the world. Insert Kiling Joke song. On the bright side, some beautiful and touching photographs.
The good people at AMV BBDO asked quite a few illustrators (including little old me) to donate prints to a charity sale to raise money for Kids Company, a charity providing practical, emotional and educational support to inner-city children and young people in the UK. I've got a lot of time for Camila Batmanghelidjh who runs the charity, not only does she speak a lot of sense about the adoption process in the UK but she also has a wardrobe to rival Grayson Perry in terms of colour and pattern.