Thursday, 7 December 2017

'Printland' by Peacock Visual Arts at W OR M!

'Printland' is back for its second year running (check out some snaps from 'Printland' year 1 here) as the print archives from Peacock Visual Arts explode across the walls and tables at their new project space W OR M. Its been a busy year for Peacocks as an organisation with new director Nuno Sacremento bringing a fresh perspective. With the very foundation of Peacocks lying in the realm of print its great to have this annual celebration not just of their past victories but also a showcase of their years activities.

Scattered across the walls and tables you'll find prints some of their most notable artists including Adam Bridgland, Ralph Steadman, David McCracken and Toby Paterson but there's a healthy mix of new work to admire from the likes of William MouldingTom Hammick and Donald Urquhart, who's also completed their first mural in the alley next to W OR M. The mural marks a step into the world of street art or at least art in the alleyway. 'Lunar Voyage' is a new publication which accompanies the Tom Hammick exhibition which opened at Flowers Gallery in New York a few months back with a series of large scale prints. I managed to get a look in the print studio while the team inked up the rollers for what turned out to be a massive job involving both the traditional print team and the digital laser cutter! The resulting prints are stunning and the exclusive publication provides a bit of background to the project and will make a nice edition to any book shelf.

You can also pick up a new AP from William Moulding who has been smashing out the prints this year in between trips offshore. His instagram feed is a constant delight with not a moment wasted once back on dry land, its straight into the print studio and back to what he loves. And Donald Urquhart has also been busy both creating the mural and producing a new alphabet print based on the king of pop, Michael Jackson. You'll find a special table covered in mini prints, perfect for those cherished loved ones this Christmas.

'Printland' year 2 seems like a success both in terms of bringing work out of the archives and into peoples lives as a hundred or so people clamoured over each other during the opening, hoping to secure that special print for 100, 20 or even 5 pounds. I did notice an old Obey print which was quickly snapped up but a quick rifle through will reveal some absolute gems. I was particularly interested in some of the old exhibition posters, a snap shot of peacocks past with dates going back 4 decades with artists like Kate Downie and Richard Demarco. I just hope I've made it onto Santas nice list this year and ill have a nice print to hang on Christmas day.

Be sure to pop down to W OR M and pick up a bargain price piece of print history now!


Wednesday, 6 December 2017

'Bonnie Beasts' by Shiron Karbor & Rachel Logan!

'Bonnie Beasts' is one of two shows currently on at Seventeen and features the illustrations of Shirin Karbor Illustration & Rachel Logan Illustration. The pair have created a host of original characters inspired by the old Aberdeen Bestiary (I've written about that here) who set out on adventures across Aberdeen in 6 children's books. That's right, they've written and illustrated a set of 6 children's books set in Aberdeen! Although we've seen a rise in novels based in Aberdeen, crime novels no less, there's definitely  been a lack of any decent child friendly literature. Til now! 

I'd only recently met Shirin as she's one of the Painted Doors artists who's completed a rather cute seal door down just off The Green. A quick trawl through her website reveals a plethora of projects including this cool piece for Brewdog. Rachel Logan is a new face, to me at least and again proves that Aberdeen is full of incredible creative people, just check out her cat and birds animation for evidence! I still think there's a lot of work to be done in Aberdeen around the value of good design and building up these types of creative industries but knowing that both these artists have come from Grays School of Art is a good sign. So what about these Bonnie Beasts?

The 'Bonnie Beasts' are a set of cute animals, some real and some inspired by the bestiary and include The Prickly Lion, The Vratch, The Fitsat, The Dinnaken,  The Affa Kerfuffle and The Howker. Any doric speakers (a dialect particular to the North East of Scotland) will recognise a few of the names above but almost more exciting is that some of the stories are set in Aberdeen. I was amazed to see the Fitsat flying over Union Terrace Gardens while another story found its protagonist heading down to The Tunnels. Along with the books the artists have a set of larger scale paintings and illustrations on display along with a make your own beast 'Monster Mash - up' wall. I think the Vratch poking out of a bin with his seagull pal is my favourite but really all the paintings are brilliant. 

Its really inspiring to know we have creative out there capable of producing work at this level, after all my nephews room is full of books from Flying Eye Books, a side line of Nobrow Press so why wouldn't he want these books too. Although that's a sticking point at the moment, the duo only managed to get a few test copies printed in time for the show but I'm hoping they can crowd fund a print run or maybe there's some council arts funding available that can help them cover the initial printing? Any readers out there willing to invest in a couple of creative kids and their beasts? I know I'd be investing in a set of books for my shelves if they were available. 

As it stands the beasts will be on display until the 15th of December so you don't have long to check them out but please do and if you'd be interested in buying a book let them know, drop an email or leave your contact details and hopefully if there's enough demand well be able to find the Vratch and the Affa Kerfuffle in the central library in no time!