Project completed whilst working at make:good, commissioned by Bow Arts Trust. The brief was simple, to create some way-finding interventions that would lead Bow Schools’ new influx of pupils safely under the A12, using the Empson Street underpass.
We devised a creative workshop to help the boys visualise and direct the artwork for a subway installed in Bromley-by-Bow.
On this project there are a number of components, each linking into the other. Firstly - the semi permanent way-finding clues, designed to lead people to the underpass to safely cross beneath the busy A12 to the new school site. Secondly, the walls of the underpass needed something of a spruce as they was looking tired, dark and didn’t exactly inspire any sense ‘safety’ for the hundreds of young people soon to be using it daily. And finally, a design for the new school’s entrance gates, welcoming the community and catching the eyes of the many passers by on foot and by car.
Throughout this process I worked to involve the current schools’ ‘Core Commissioning Group’ of students who have significantly helped inform our brief. We began with an activity titled ‘taking a line for a walk’, experimenting with how our journeys could be used as a tool for drawing and mark making. Also using photographs of the route to help students map their ‘emotional journeys’ at each stage of a walk, words such as ‘excited’, ‘motivated’, ‘safe’ seemed to be the most significant vocabulary chosen by the group.
This workshop with the students helped to identify a number of key elements of the brief, which later formed 4 key sections to our working process;
Gathering Words Of Wisdom
Ready with bright orange postcards, I visited Bow Church, Bow Ideas Store, Poplar Harca lunch club, local shops, Stebon Mellor primary school fete; asking what ‘words of wisdom’ or guidance ‘would you give to your 13 year old self?’ We collected a whole range of responses from to the strong and simple ‘believe in yourself’ to the amusing and characterful; ‘every little makes a muckle’ from a 96-year old former teacher of a nearby school in Bow. These words are to form a number of bold pavement interventions offering motivation and guidance along the route to school, under the subway and along the road. Each 600 x 600 mm square giving it’s own unique local words of wisdom to help inspire people along their way to the school and beyond.
Capturing The East London Skyline
On a very hot day in August we donned our hardhats to climb to the top of the new Bow School to photograph it’s surrounding skyline. A mixture of iconic buildings like the Olympic stadium and less grand but familiar architecture like newly built blocks of flats, punctuated by cranes- the Bow skyline is certainly an ever-changing montage of shapes and outlines that we wanted to capture in our subway artwork. Using the process of collage, we created an abstracted vision of the landscape, which just as the boys stated in their brief, must be constantly unraveling to reveal something different each time you looks at it. For some, sections are instantly recognisable such as the iconic Balfron Tower, for others they initially perceive shapes and then later see churches, locks and structures emerge. This element of the design is perhaps what makes it so exciting. It develops and changes much like the real thing. I used these buildings to create a number of cut out collages in the studio.
Creating A Curious Line
The sense of a dynamic line that evolves and goes on a journey, inviting curiosity, movement and forming it’s own pattern is something at the centre of my design for the subway. The line moves and weaves through the buildings, climbs and descends towers, flows under bridges and crosses train tracks and tunnels. The line acts as the energy and movement that holds the entire artwork together, and creates a curiosity that drives people to follow it to see where it may lead.
Collecting Pattern and Texture
The design needed to have a sense of depth and character that captured the textures of place and patterns formed by people. So I was thrilled to discover a very lovely and eager group of local knitters who helped create a number of unique textures for our collage. These small knitted squares were themselves another version of ‘a curious line’, and went right back to the beginning where we tried to ‘take a line for a walk’ and see what naturally formed. These intricate and rich textures created by people with stories just as elaborate and fascinating led us on our own surprising journey into a relationship with knitting. We then invited to Core commissioning group of teenage boys along to learn a thing or two on how to knit from the lovely ladies at the Brownfield cabin. Experimenting with odd alternatives like wire and string meant that for that brilliant hour, everybody was learning, experimenting and taking their different materials for a curious journey to create something new and unexpected.
The underpass was officially launched in June 2014 by artist Michael Craig Martin and Director of Tate Modern Sir Nicholas Serota with help from Bow school students.
Art Direction, Illustration, Street Art
A body of work from my travels to Mexico City from October 22nd - November 10th 2009.
I spent some time working with Angel Flores, a local printmaker who taught me his low-tech methods of plate etching. This is a small 2 plate etching of a skull.
Upon my return I produced a silkscreen print of the many different skulls I saw during Day of the Dead.
I also photographed the many beautiful souvenirs I had returned with to act as a cover image to this body of work.
Most significantly I produced a short moving collage where every frame was worked on by hand, using, pens, pastels and a photocopier. I have worked over stills and moving imagery that have captured soley from the trip using a video camera, a disposable camera, a digital camera and a holga.
The animation explores the overwhelming experience of being immersed into such a rich culture, in which for the most part, i was unable to understand and be understood through language barriers.
The poem 'Between Going and Staying' by Mexican poet Octavio Paz was provided a rhythm to my travels.
The film itself is set in a cigar box, much like a typical Mexican cigar box shrine, often containing offerings of gratitude, or prayers.
Animation, Creative Direction, Illustration
I created around 75 original ink illustrations for the agency First Image as part of their brief to produce an animation for Selfridges and it's brand partners.
First Image commissioned me to draw characters that you might find in and around the iconic London building, from tourists to wealthy shoppers, hipsters to business people.
Using black ink, brushes and nibs I produced static character illustrations and First Image animated them to move, placing them into the finished film.
Animation, Drawing, Illustration
A Stop Motion Cutout Music Video to Laura Marling's 'Crawled Out of the Sea'.
437 photos shot, printed, each individually scalpeled then assesmbled frame by frame into this sequence.
Thanks to Anna for making it look so beautiful.
Animation, Creative Direction, Film
Needless post is a pass-it-on postal embroidery project inviting collaboration through needlecraft between strangers.
I started the project as I am interested in mail art, and postal collaboration, as well as the delicate craft of embroidery.
The project was an instant success, with 25 people signing up to take part from all over the world. Artists signed up from Brooklyn, Birmingham, Tokyo, Mexico City , Leeds, Liverpool, London, Bristol and Belfast!
Each postee stitched and posted their it to a stranger, who's address was provided by the project. At the end of the project, every participant had stitched into three pieces, collaborating with other artist's designs.
The finished work will soon be featuring in an exhibition and Needless Post Project aims to kick off once again in Winter 2015.
Art Direction, Crafts, Illustration
A painted animation based on a poem I wrote about the winter. Narrated by the magical Chris Barlow.
Animation, Illustration, Painting
Sections from a larger banner print.
A collective of musicians all play in time to create a klangfarbenmelodie. (google what this is, it's very interesting)
I drew this piece out of frustration at trying to learn an instrument and feeling like I will never quite be a part of this special members club that is; talented musicians.
A series of illustrations from a poem I write about winter.
A series of illustrations created for my blog : gutsglandsandglory.co.uk - a personal collection of musing about living with Crohns disease.
Branding, Graphic Design, Illustration
On my travels in Mexico City, I became fascinated by all of the different ways address numbers were displayed. I collected around 50 photographs and make a photo book titled 'numeros' with an accompanying poster of drawings made from the photographs.
Digital Photography, Typography
A pattern of wolves silkscreened in 8 colours onto wallpaper.
Illustration, Pattern Design
Limited edition of 10 zines
Includes handpainted envelope, sticker, full colour photocopied zine and a special one of a kind etching.
"If I have learnt anything, it is that life forms no logical patterns. It is haphazard and full of beauties which I try to catch as they fly by, for who knows whether any of them will ever return?"
- Margot Fonteyn
Drawing, Illustration, Painting
Some stills from a looping stop motion animation commissioned by Leeds City Museum Exhibition entitled 'Make,Bake & Grow" showcasing local crafts and hobbyists.
Animation, Art Direction, Typography
Based on Picasso's painting 'Woman in a Hat with Pompoms and a Printed Blouse' I created a Halloween costume, replacing my face into the painting's surface.
Costume Design, Fine Arts
An envelope illustration for Don't Panic Magazine. The brief being 'Escape'.
These bold necklaces are formed of semi-oxidised copper pipe joints, hand painted wooden beads and metal scraps on a leather rope, with a copper fastening.
Combining natural with industrial, these playfully formed necklaces are each entirely unique.
All of the charms have been gathered from family garage and garden. Each wooden painted bead, cored from fallen pine.
They look great on tees + knitwear.
Crafts, Fashion, Jewelry Design
Some miscellaneous excerpts from my sketchbook which are hardly ever in an sketchbook but often on loose pieces of paper I don't feel precious about doodling on.
An illustration for a presentation about the relationship between your skills, interests and career as a designer.
A selection of personal collages using found materials, a scalpel and a photocopier.