Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Edward Monkton

Edward Monkton is an artist producing ranges of cartoon-like drawings used on items such as greetings cards. His easily recognizable work, available in many stores is simple and playful.

The work itself is amusing and original yet, it is the website that interested me as it has successfully adapted the same feel/style as his work - its fun and allows for the user to explore the artist's work. It raised the question once again for me as to how far a designers/illustrators/artists site should be designed - should there be a theme, how can it entertain the user and make them want to return, how to display work most effectively.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Public Spaces

Conceptual artist Jenny Holzer is well-known for her work using words and ideas in public spaces; her work is an exploitation of public space, which is more than often subject to the messages of commerce. All her work aims to confront the reader, to challenge or question a part of modern culture and this is all well, however, the visually arresting executions of her work could be seen to override the message - whether the audience remembers the visual impact of the piece or the message behind it, her work is unique and has emphasized how public spaces can be used by designers.

Sustainable Design

thomas.matthews is one of a rising number of sustainable design led agencies that aims to produce ethically considered work. For anyone interested in this area of design, the site is worth a look, particularly some of the information about how the agency designs sustainably. Apart from the sustainable approch to their work, the site displays some of the agency's work including an innovative interactive 'discussion' for V&A Late, which involved the public being able to write their thoughts to several statements, generating a public discussion and the lift:eat london project, which demonstrates the effective application of a concept across multiple media outcomes.

Thoughtful - another sustainable design led agency

Neville Gabie

From project 'Playing Away - UK'

Photographer and sculpture Neville Gabie has produced a diverse and intriguing array of work; the two images above are from a series called 'Playing Away' and the first I came across. Gabie's work is a mix of installations and photography, often exploring a landscape / location. The photographs are taken in forgotten places, bits of dead space with iron bars suspended from trees, garage doors to lines of white paint and highlight the inventiveness of their football-mad creators. Yet what I found particularly interesting, is that in not one image, there is not a person or any sporting action insight and yet the images communicate so much about the locality of each location.

The Playing Away - UK is part of a large project 'Playing Away' which can be viewed on Gabie's site -

Guerilla Advertising

Some examples of effective guerilla advertising that demonstrate the potential of this method of communication when a simple concept and relevant execution work together.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Sara Fanelli

I first came across Fanelli's illustration work at the V&A museum a couple of years ago and then found her website/portfolio. Her work has a strong personal style and although it is not overly original or individual in comparison to similar contemporary illustrators, it has a certain appeal and charm about it. I particularly find her approach towards materials and choice of colour appealing.

Centre of the Creative Universe

'Centre of the Creative Universe: Liverpool and the Avant-Garde', Tate Liverpool until Sept 9th

A fantastically unique exhibition of the Liverpool arts scene over the past fifty years, which explores how the city has inspired both national and international artists to create work based on the city from the post-war period to the present day. It includes a diverse range of artists and styles of work, chronologically ordered from atmospheric panoramics of a destroyed post-war city, to realist paintings from several 1970's artists through to some contemporary photography from Alex Soth and Anne Fox, capturing characters from the city today and an installation tribute to Liverpool's mothers.

This exhibition brought several new artists/photographers and film-makers to my attention and highlighted how much your immediate environment can provide inspiration for your work. It would be of particular interest to anyone who lives locally or knows the city well however, it also illustrates how art and photography are great forms through which life and change can be recorded.

Centre of the Creative Universe
- A downloadable 'spider diagram' that is shown at a ceiling to floor level to begin the exhibition; this illustrious chart shows the breadth of arts and cultural inspirations the city has provided and the many associations and links formed between city and artist.

100 Chairs in 100 Days

Chair Examples from the exhibition

Designer Martino Gamper made a bid to make 100 new chairs from elements of old discarded and donated ones, each one taking a day to make. What interested me about this project was not so much the chair designs themselves, but the concept and reasoning the designer gave - "by deconstructing the chairs I gained a new insight into its construction and use of materials which informs the creation of the new design".

The idea of extracting elements from existing successful design and re-combining them to produce new outcomes and new ideas provides a fascinating approach to any area of design and a way by which to challenge the conventions/style of the time. Gamper's chairs illustrate just how original these outcomes can be.

Robert Polidori's Metropolis

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain (1997)

As a photographer of architectural forms, Polidori's work is some of the most interesting around. Architecture has long been a subject of many photographers with most looking to idealise the architectural form. However, what interests me about Polidori's work is his unique approach towards the representation of buildings, he avoids the 'picture-postcard' photograph, showing a truthful realism of each building he captures. The Guggenheim Museum provides a great example of this - where other photographers eradicate the suburban concrete warehouses and old train tracks, Polidori incorporates such features into his work. This creates a feeling of a deeper understanding of each building he adopts as a subject, expressing its characteristics, vunrabilities and it's relationship with the adjacent environment.

The new book 'Robert Polidori's Metropolis' is well worth a look at if this style of photography appeals as well as 'Havana' and his photographs of Chrenobyl.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Type Museum

I came across this ad by Paul Belford for the Type Museum in London a while ago. It's incredibly simple yet communicates the message clearly and coherently. I was also glad to see no-one had diluted the idea by attempting to produce similar executions for the remaining seasons.