Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mr Postman

We've just arrived back to a surprisingly sunny London after a week road-tripping around Scotland. A proper roundup of what we got up to will come soon but in the meantime here is a belated post about a few special deliveries that arrived in the mail recently.

The letterpressed wedding invitations I designed for our big sis and her fiancé arrived all the way from Sydney safe and sound. The tactile and warm touch of letterpress printing fit in beautifully with the vintage theme they've chosen for their wedding. They went with Crane Lettra 300 GSM in Pearl White and Kraft brown envelopes with their own custom envelope liners.

We were also gobsmacked to receive another invitation... for a reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh! The reception will be in October to celebrate The Queen's upcoming tour of Australia. We have British Council Australia and Realise Your Dream to thank for this incredible invitation. 

It's pretty random, I didn't think we'd be attending any formal event while we were in London, let alone a reception at Buckingham palace, so I didn't pack anything appropriate in my suitcase. Been busy hunting for formal "Day Dress" wear but we're having trouble finding anything that fits. And ideally we'd love to wear an Australian design in keeping with the theme of the event but that's proving a little difficult. Unfortunately we can't take a camera in with us but we'll try to soak it all in and report back.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Defeat Deflector & Makers, Dreamers

Just a quick post about a couple of works we have out and about in London. We've donated "Defeat Deflector" (a piece from the "Turns of Speech and Figures of Phrase" show that we held in March) to Artarama where it will be auctioned off to raise funds for Age UK and the White Ribbon Alliance. Artarama is organised by Karmarama London and the show/auction is on the 7th of October. There'll be exclusive work by Rankin, Rob Ryan, Al Murphy and many more.

We have also completed a new embroidery called "Makers, Dreamers" which is on display at AMV BBDO as part of a typographic group show. "We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams" is a quote taken from Ode by Arthur O'Shaughnessy via the film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

This is our largest to date, 841 x 594 mm. I'm not sure exactly how much thread that amounts to, but I bet it's something crazy. The original A1 sized artwork is available for sale, please email us if you're interested.  A limited edition of 100 giclee printed posters are also available for £45, A2 in size, hand numbered and signed and printed on Hahnemueller Photorag paper using archival inks (please note that the posters are smaller than the original A1 sized hand embroidered poster). Please email us if you would like more info. The posters will be available from our Big Cartel store soon.

We have another group show that we'll be taking part in later in the year. It's a tribute show for Jim Henson at Gallery Nucleus in the States. Look out for some Sesame St flavoured "Sweater Letters" and a Choc Chip C. Other artists include Cat Rabbit, Isobel Knowles and a fellow Handsome Frank artist Helen Musselwhite. Can't wait to see what these talented ladies create!

And I almost forgot, we have a new Sweater Letter. We're slowly going through the alphabet and filling in the gaps. For "B" I've been influenced by the clashing colours of 80's knitwear. This is also available from our Big Cartel store. We're making our new Sweater Letters available as limited editions of 3, each one will still be hand embroidered so there may be slight differences.

** Update: I've signed and numbered (handstitched) the B Sweater Letter piece **

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Denim and Weave

Denim is tough! As part of the Denim group show we were invited to take part in curated by Dell Stewart, we came across a few road bumps. Finding the right cloth and technique that would work well with the fabric was a matter of trial and error and was just as frustrating as searching for the perfect pair of jeans. The Cloth House on Berwick St have a great selection of denim cloth but we were still umming and ahhing about the amount of fade we wanted and the texture of the fabric. We wanted something that looked a bit lived in (we even contemplated looking for a second hand denim jacket but couldn't find one with a large enough clear piece of denim), the right shade of blue and we needed it supple enough that we could sew onto it.

Below are some photos of the final piece called Echo. In this piece, threads harvested from the denim are embroidered back onto the cloth and re-combine with denim. The aspect of denim that we were intrigued by is its specific tactility, the way it embodies the history of its use. We wanted our marks although recent to be absorbed into the fabric through the use of denim on/within denim.

203mm x 203mm
Denim, cotton thread

We also recently took part in a group show in Sydney called Alphabet Soup. Presented by Art on the Wall and Weave it was a celebration of letters and literacy. All the works have been donated by the artists involved and proceeds go towards the charitable programs organised by Weave. They provide support for disadvantaged groups in the community and the funds raised will go towards the mentoring and tutoring programs they offer.

Each artist created a collection of 3 letters for the show. We really wanted to do a new piece with paper so for our K, M and R we experimented with patterns and layering.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Summer/Autumn and "Back to the Start"

There's now a chill in the air and the blazing sunsets we've come to expect have faded away to ones
that are grey, white and pale. Brrrr, luckily we're going to skip the northern winter and will be home in time for summer in Sydney. We realised we have less than 3 months though before we head back so we're cramming in all the things we kept putting off: galleries, museums, cafes and curiosities. We jotted them all down and each week we have a lucky dip. Our fist pick was the flower markets at Columbia Road where we enjoyed a leisurely Sunday of people watching and flower hawking and came away with a chili plant and some thyme. But not as successful, was our trip to the Natural History Museum. We got diverted by heavy rain and a sea of children to the bedlam that is Harrods on a wet weekend in London. Some things I learnt that day – avoid museums during the summer holidays especially on a weekend, Harrods is crazy and somewhere I need not visit again and I'm very picky about my almond croissants. Since then we've had trips to St Bride's Printing Library, Victoria Park, Brick Lane Sunday Markets, Rough Trade and No Brow which have all been a lot more exciting.

Below are some of the goodies we picked up from the No Brow store. Everything We Miss by Luke Pearson, Flesh and Bones: A Colouring Concertina by John Sibbick and Rise & Fall by Micah Lidberg. A place you must visit if you're in London, No Brow are independent publishers that work with graphic artists and illustrators to produce exquisitely tactile printed works. They have a show coming up in September that looks like it will be pretty awesome. Masks is an exhibition of works from Ben Newman and it opens on the 15th of September.

And lastly here are some stop motion animations that have blown our minds lately. Johnny Kelly from Nexus Productions beautifully crafted stop motion animation "Back to the Start" has just gone live. There's a behind the scenes here and some production stills from the shoot.

And a classic animation that we were introduced to at LIAF, "Hedgehog in the Fog". Stunning, mesmerising and so technically brilliant.