Based in Edinburgh, publishers Birlinn work with Scottish writers such as Robin Jenkins, George Mackay Brown and the author of the No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, Alexander McCall Smith and international writers including Jan-Philipp Sendker, Rita Monaldi and Francesco Sorti.
During the Edinburgh Festival, the Doubtfire Gallery are hosting an exhibition of original illustrations and printed work by some of the artists that Birlinn commission for their covers. The featured artists are Tim Archbold, Jill Calder, Bob Dewar, Debi Gliori, James Hutcheson, Owain Kirby and Iain McIntosh.
The exhibition runs until 29th August at the Doubtfire Gallery, 3 South East Circus Place, Edinburgh EH3 6TJ. View the gallery website
Find can out more about Birlinn via their website.
'Reekie' by James Hutcheson
'Bruce and DeBohun' by Jill Calder
'The Bruce' by Jill Calder
'Bertie Plays Blues' by Iain McIntosh
'Allotments' by Bob Dewar
'The Great Wood' by Owain Kirby
Posted by Simon Lewin on August 17th, 2015
Visitors to the newly reopened York Art Gallery will be able to pick up one of these souvenir broadsheets, created by the artist Mark Hearld as part of his curated exhibition The Lumber Room: Unimagined Treasures.
The Upper North Gallery has been transformed to reflect one artist’s vision of a Lumber Room – a room of miscellaneous stored objects and artefacts.
For the past two years, York-based artist Mark Hearld has been visiting the stores of the Yorkshire Museum and York Castle Museum as well as York Art Gallery researching the objects and artworks to include in the exhibition.
His choices include textiles, costume, oil paintings, works on paper, furniture, and taxidermy, many items of which have not been on public display before.
Alongside these are new works that Mark has created especially for the show which are inspired by the collections. The exhibition is influenced by a short story called The Lumber Room, by Saki, which was read to him in an English class when he was 15.
“Since I heard Saki’s story I have always been intrigued by the idea of a locked room that contained treasures so wonderful they are beyond what your mind can imagine. In this exhibition I wanted to create the sense of excitement and wonder that you get when you discover the key to the room and see the “forbidden” objects for the first time.”
Visit the exhibition at York Art Gallery, Exhibition Square, York YO1 7EW. Find out more from the York Art Gallery website.
You might also like to view Mark's range of artist design fabrics and wallpapers for St Jude's.
Posted by Simon Lewin on August 7th, 2015
If you're familiar with the work of Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious you probably will know of the Brick House in Great Bardfield in Essex. This was their home, along with their wives, Charlotte and Tirzah, for a few years in the 1930s.
The illustrator and printmaker, Alice Pattullo, has recently created an ingenious and characterful fold-out replica of the house for Design For Today. With rooms filled with the objects you would expect to find from cats and patterned wallpapers to Bawden's printing press and cast iron bench, there's a wealth of detail. There's even a sheet of cut out extras including the two artists themselves looking rather like Gilbert and George.
Alice Pattullo is an illustrator and printmaker working in East London. Her work can be found at the V&A, The Higgins, John Soames Museum, Cecil Sharp House and in the pages of design and illustration magazines, Alice is inspired by the folk traditions of England and influenced by the mid-century printmaking of artists such as Edward Bawden and John Piper.
Design For Today was founded by Joe Pearson, an established collector and writer on mid-century lithography. As one of the country’s experts in his field Joe has given talks at several institutions such as the Double Crown Club, St Brides Printing Library, The House of Illustration and the University of East Anglia.
Find out more and purchase a copy of Brick House from Design For Today’s website.
Posted by Angie Lewin on July 1st, 2015
This Thursday (4th June) Christies will be auctioning an incredible collection of Shell posters which belong to Hugh Wickham, ex-head of marketing at Shell. It’s a long story with several twists and turns along the way, but all the proceeds from the sale of the posters are going straight to the Regeneration Fund of St John’s Church in Kingston-upon-Thames to help with the considerable cost of refurbishment.
The collection comprises 20 lots of approximately 42 posters from the Golden Age of Shell advertising and includes iconic images from artists and designers such as Edward Bawden, Ben Nicholson, Duncan Grant, Paul Nash, Graham Sutherland, Richard Guyatt, John Armstrong, Abram Games, Tom Eckersley and Eric Lombers. They are mostly from the ‘You Can Be Sure of Shell’, ‘These people Use Shell’ and ‘To Visit Britain’s Landmarks’ campaigns and date predominantly from the 1930s, with a few from the 1950s. It really is a remarkable group with great provenance and it’s a great opportunity to acquire a piece of classic British advertising history.
To find out more visit the Christies website and look for lots 17 to 37.
Posted by Simon Lewin on June 2nd, 2015
I was lucky enough to attend the opening of the major show of work by Eric Ravilious at Dulwich Picture Gallery, curated by James Russell, but the show deserved a second visit at a slightly quieter time.
I’ve always found Ravilious' work totally absorbing, whether his watercolours (which are the focus of this exhibition), his lithographs and wood engravings or his designs created for ceramics, glass and other commissioned work.
On my recent second visit to the exhibition it became so much clearer to me that these watercolours were made by a printmaker and designer. There's a sharpness and a clarity to the objects in his compositions and the palette is perhaps purposely restricted. Closer inspection reveals Ravilious is creating textures and patterns in the same way that he might when creating a lithograph.
It's hard to single out one single painting but a firm favourite would be 'Ship's Screw on a Railway Truck' (1940). Not a promising subject perhaps. The sculptural propellor gleams out from the blue and grey landscape. The top left had corner is a beautifully composed scene of ship moored by a curved harbour and tree which in itself would make a perfect engraving or motif on a Wedgwood plate. In the foreground there's a playful pattern of footprints in the snow and in the grey sky above, soft white snow flakes and diagonal marks depict this bleak winter scene in the same way that Ravilious might have drawn on a lithographic stone.
James Russell has brought together watercolours of landscapes, interiors, still lifes and Ravilious' work as a war artist too. There’s much to see that I think a third visit is definitely on the cards.
'Ravilious' is at Dulwich Picture Gallery until 31st August 2015. Visit their website for full details.
And find out more via curator James Russell's website.
Posted by Angie Lewin on June 1st, 2015
Those visiting Mark Hearld and Emily Sutton’s recent Open Studio event in York will have had a sneak preview of the new hand painted ceramic slip cast horses that Mark will be creating for his exhibition at York Art Gallery when it re-opens on the 1st of August 2015.
Mark will be curating and creating The Lumber Room: Unimagined Treasures which will feature objects from across York Museums Trust’s collections, including oil paintings, works on paper, taxidermy and social history.
Mark will also create new work in response to the objects including individually decorated ceramic slip cast horses made in response to the Leeds Horses in the collection.
We’ll be posting further details about the horses and Mark’s exhibition closer to the opening - do sign up for our e-mail newsletter if you’d like to find out more.
In the meantime, you might like to take a look at Mark's fabric and wallpaper designs for St Jude's.
Posted by Simon Lewin on April 27th, 2015
Our friends at Little Toller are soon to publish the first book about the artist and printmaker Rena Gardiner (1929-1999).
"Rena Gardiner dedicated her life to her art, doing so alone in a thatched cottage in the heart of Dorset. Combining the great tradition of British topographic artists with the rich era of autolithography of the 1940s and 1950s, she created her own very personal and individual visual style. An unsung heroine of printmaking, uninterested in publicity or fame, she created an artistic legacy that is instantly recognisable for its exuberant use of colour and texture."
Find out more about Rena Gardiner and the book from the Little Toller website.
Posted by Angie Lewin on March 24th, 2015
I was delighted to be asked by Country Living magazine to create a mug to celebrate their 30th anniversary.
This limited edition mug has been handmade and hand decorated by Burleigh at Middleport Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent.
The mug features on the cover of the magazine's April 2015 issue and inside you'll find a feature on our home and studio in the Scottish Highlands, photographed by Cristian Barnett who I've had the pleasure of working with before on two short films, including this one looking at the making of my Nature Table wallpaper.
You can find out more about the Country Living mug from their General Store.
Posted by Angie Lewin on February 28th, 2015
As we finalise details of our next Jonny Hannah exhibition in Edinburgh, we thought we'd take the opportunity to share a few photos from Jonny's 2010 exhibition at our former gallery in North Norfolk, "A Bed of Sea and Dead Men's Suits".
Posted by Simon Lewin on February 4th, 2015
We're off to North Uist for the first time later this year. Was rummaging in a second hand bookshop and came across this, with a cover featuring designer Ashley Havinden's 'Ashley Script' typeface which is still available digitally.
Posted by Simon Lewin on January 26th, 2015