GLUG – We’ll Go For One

February 11th, 2016 by Special Projects

18-27 February Open daily 10.00-17.00 ASC Studios, Newcross Gate, London, SE14 6BL

Glug resize

GLUG, an exhibition presented by Ruairi FallonAlexander James Wood and Matt Rogers, all recent graduates of Camberwell College of Art. The detritus and debris of after-hours life and drinking culture in the city provide the landscape, which the three have explored in their own way.

Throughout the exhibition there will also be a relief-printing workshop that will offer the chance for viewers to print their own five-panel narrative from a library of pre-cut slides. Creations will be printed on a variety of papers with the option of creating a concertina book, that once fully dried, can be sent to your address.

On Heat – exhibition

February 10th, 2016 by Special Projects

Kate Hazell and Just Friends Studio

8 February – 8 March 2016

Loves Company (just outside exit 4 of Old Street underground) 104-122 City Road, London, EC1V 2NR

FOXY FOX Kate Hazell_Phwoar2

AOI member Kate Hazell and Just Friends Studio (Christine Serchia & Flaminia Adele) have joined forces to present ON HEAT: a Valentine’s exhibition where art imitates love. They say, “This collection of drawings, prints and typography will flirt with your eyes and drive you into a frenzy of lust.”

Preview on Thursday 11th February at Loves Company. Original artworks and unique Valentine’s cards will be available.

The art of seduction_Kate Hazell2

World Illustration Awards 2015 touring exhibition in Ormskirk

February 10th, 2016 by Special Projects

Chapel Gallery, St. Helens Road, Ormskirk, Lancashire, L39 4QR.
Opening times: Tuesday – Saturday, 10.00 am – 16.30 pm, Closed Monday, Sunday & all Bank Holidays.
Free Admission, Disabled Access
T: +44 (0) 1695 571 328,

After a very successful run last year, Chapel Gallery in Ormskirk welcomes back the AOI World Illustration Awards touring exhibition for the new 2015 show.

The Chapel Gallery in Ormskirk provides around twenty exhibitions and showcases each year. There will be a lot of extra activity on offer, so don’t miss out on a host of family fun or catching up with the excellent artworks from the London exhibition and visit the gallery this spring.

The exhibition is open to the public until 21 February 2016.




Morrissons "Cel-eggrities" by Andy Ward

Morrissons "Cel-eggrities" by Andy Ward

Photos courtesy of Chapel Gallery.

Bawden, Ravilious and the artists of Great Bardfield – book review

February 9th, 2016 by Special Projects

Ed. by Gill Saunders and Malcolm Yorke. V&A Publishing ISBN 9781851778522

Review by Derek Brazell


Encompassing printmaking, illustration, fabric design, painting and wallpaper design, this book on the distinctive artists who made the Essex village of Great Bardfield their home from the early 1930’s is visually and biographically engrossing. Illustrators, in particular, will find imagery that delights in detail and atmosphere; the seemingly everyday either faithfully recorded or translated to the abstract.

Editors, Gill Saunders and Malcolm Yorke, alongside their own texts, bring together writers who discuss the lives and works of the artists, including AOI Patron Chloe Cheese, daughter of illustrators and printmakers Bernard Cheese and Sheila Robinson, two of the artists who were part of the Great Bardfield community.

Edward Bawden

Edward Bawden

Discovered by Edward Bawden and his friend Eric Ravilious in 1931, Great Bardfield gradually attracted other creative people drawn through their connections to those already there: Kenneth and Diana Rowntree, Michael Rothenstein and Duffy Ayers, John Aldridge, Michael Rothenstein, Walter Hoyle, Cheese and Robinson and Marianne Straub.

Shelia Robinson

Shelia Robinson

Although several of the artists were influenced by Bawden’s output, there is a rich variety of artwork from all the artists profiled, from paintings of the surrounding buildings and countryside, illustrated letters, wood engravings and linocuts depicting domestic scenes and landscapes, to woven fabrics and book illustrations. Bawden and Ravilious (especially after the 2015 Ravilious exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery) are the more well known artists, both creating illustrations and works to commission alongside personal work, and the influence of their watercolours can be seen across contemporary illustration. Attractively designed, the book’s large format give space for images to breath, and textures on prints and paintings are clear to see, provoking admiration for the craft of those discussed.

Michael Rothenstein

Michael Rothenstein

The profile of the Great Bardfield artists were raised by a series of successful informal open-house days which encourage thousands of art lovers (and the press) to the village to see their studios and homes. Textile designer Straub’s Trinity Cottage was given a spread in the June 1956 issue of House Beautiful, who commented that she had ‘given new life to her charming home’. It can initially appear to have been an idyllic situation, creating work from home (although often with no hot water or heating), surrounded by like-minded people (and bemused villagers), but events such as the Second World War intruded, and relationships and fortunes fluctuated for most of the artists living there.

M Straub

Marianne Straub

The book covers the artists’ on-going lives after they leave the village following job offers, the breakdown of relationships or just moving on, and there’s a sense that the halcyon days are long gone before John Aldridge, who had remained a resident, died there in 1983. Readers are left with a strong impression of the picturesque village and its artistic inhabitants, and the significant legacy of of their multi faceted contributions to the art of the period. A book which I feel I’ll return to.

John Aldridge

John Aldridge

Chloe Cheese told Derek about her experience of writing about Sheila Robinson and Bernard Cheese for Bawden, Ravilious and the artists of Great Bardfield:

‘The generation of lesser known artists which my parents belonged to suffered a bit from the glamourous Sixties sweeping away previous lesser known work.

I have spent quite a lot of time over the last two years getting together my mother’s archive from a large heap of things I had in the plans chest and boxes here and there. My father, Bernard, died quite recently so I was asked to write about them both. Their marriage was short, but I got to know my father later on as we both made lithographs and sometimes exhibited together.

I am also finishing a short account of my mother’s work for The Fry Gallery in Saffron Waldon. I had no intention of writing anything at all and writing the V&A book was difficult as usually I express myself in pictures. I had to find a way of seeing the past from a slightly less personal perspective, so read round the period extensively and checked facts. I decided to write about my mother as she left no published thoughts on her own work, and I am the only person still alive who can write with any authority about her, so knew I should try. My daughter has helped me (who also went to the Royal College of Art – 3rd generation) and found it enlightening, as she did not know my mother.’

Fry Gallery

Richard Roundtree

Richard Roundtree

Other reviews you may be interested in:

Drawn Direct to the Plate

Making Great Illustration

Fitzwilliam Museum Bicentenary Celebrations

February 5th, 2016 by Special Projects

As part of its bicentenary celebrations, the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge is hosting two exhibitions from its collections of prints and botanical drawings.

Crawling with Life: Flower drawings from the Henry Rogers Broughton Bequest

2 February – 8 May 2016

Butterflies and other insects, Jan van Kessel, 1661 small

Spiders, snails, beetles, butterflies, moths, frogs and lizards are just some of the living creatures painted amongst the flowers in the Museum’s botanical paintings and drawings.

See watercolours by the 17th century German naturalist and illustrator, Maria Sibylla Merian and her tutor Jacob Marrel, as well as works by the Dutch artist Jan van Huysum and members of the Dietzsch family. These are accompanied by studies of carnivorous plants and those designed to attract insects through mimicry or putrid smells, painted by the German born scientist and illustrator Georg Dionysius Ehret and the French artist and engraver Nicolas Robert.

1816: Prints by Turner, Goya and Cornelius

9 February – 31 July 2016

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), Norham Castle on the Tweed, c

A look across Europe at three series of prints by major artists published in 1816, the year of the founding of the Fitzwilliam.

The period was known as ‘The year without a summer’ due to the after-effects of the 1815 volcano eruption in Indonesia. Global cooling, volcanic ash, darkness, crop failures, food riots and spectacular sunsets influenced artists and writers of the time. A variety of responses can be seen here with Goya’s Tauromaquia, books eleven and twelve of Turner’s Liber Studiorum, and Peter Cornelius’s large-scale Illustrations to Goethe’s Faust.

Find more information about the exhibitions and the Fitzwilliam Museum here

Pictoplasma conference 2016

February 3rd, 2016 by Special Projects

Contemporary Character Design and Art

4-8 May 2016

Spring 2016 Pictoplasma transforms Berlin into the world’s meeting point for a diverse scene of international artists and creatives, trailblazing the face of tomorrow’s visual culture. Speakers include Agostino Icaurci, Aisha Franz, Becky & Joe and Julian Glander.


The festival showcases latest trends in figurative character design, from fine to urban arts, illustration, animation and graphic design, with lectures and Character Lab and Character Forum.

Merijn Hos

Merijn Hos

Creators, producers and fans meet for an unconventional conference with cutting-edge artist presentations, curated screening programmes bring the latest animation eye-candy to the big screen, and a series of exhibitions and group-shows invite visitors to experience original works and outstanding character craftsmanship.

Agostino Lacurci

Agostino Lacurci

Pictoplasma expands in 2016 with a series of Short Courses: These 2 day workshops offer the unique chance to learn directly from international industry leaders and focus on a clear task or technical skill in the creation of contemporary visuals.


The first series of Short Courses will be lead by Varoom 21 cover artist Geneviève Gauckler (FR), Lucas Zanotto (IT), Mark Gmehling (DE), introducing participants to the art of image creation by organising a library of visual elements, the initial concept and workflow stages of designing and prototyping a successful game App, and the creation of state of the art 3D illustration. More on the programme here.

Becky & Joe

Becky & Joe

Comix Creatrix

February 3rd, 2016 by Special Projects

100 women making comics.

5 February to 15 May 2016, 10:00am – 6:00pm (Gallery closed on Mondays)

House of Illustration, 2 Granary Square, King’s Cross London N1C 4BH

Admission: £7/£5/£4.

Featuring artists from Marie Duval and Tove Jansson to Posy Simmonds, Audrey Niffenegger and Nina Bunjevac, Comix Creatrix: 100 Women Making Comics is the UK’s largest ever exhibition of leading female comic artists.


Illustration by Laura Callaghan

From their early incarnations as sequential satires and newspaper strips to today’s countercultural zines, webcomics and award-winning graphic novels, comics have evolved into a complex and powerful literary form. Women have been present throughout this evolution, creating some of the most defining and provocative works of the medium.

Comix Creatix will present original artworks from graphic novels, comics and zines of over 100 innovative female creators, including: Alison Bechdel, Angie Mills, Donya Todd, Eleni Kalorkoti, Isabel Greenberg, Nadine Redlich, Posy Simmonds, Tove Jansson, between many others.

The exhibition will be accompanied by SEQUENTIAL, a free digital guide to the exhibition featuring over 100 pages of content, as well as presenting a selection of full-length digital graphic novels on IPads in the exhibition itself.

Illustration by Isabel Greenberg

Illustration by Isabel Greenberg

Comix Creatix will open to the public this Friday 5 February.

Scribbles – Book Review

February 1st, 2016 by Special Projects

Russell Walker – Creative

Narrated by Dr. Mark Doherty, with foreword by Brian Grimwood.

Scribble is exclusively available by e mailing £20.00 inclusive of postage and packing

Review by Marianna Madriz


Illustrator, Designer and Educator Russell Walker has marked 30 years of professional practice with the release of Scribble, a limited edition book accounting his career from his college years up until the present day.

AOI Patron Brian Grimwood (one of Walker’s mentors) names him ‘the king of lateral thinking’, a fit description for an Illustrator whose conceptual solutions have helped shape commissions for IBM, Oxfort University Press, Live aid and EMI Records over the course of his fruitful journey.


The book provides a thorough glimpse on Walker’s creative journey, detailing his many inspirations and briefs undertaken throughout his studies. AOI Patrons and member organisations such as Ian Pollock, George Hardie, Central Illustration Agency and even the AOI receive a significant mention in the publication, especially those who tutored him during his formative years.


The trajectory further includes his first commissions and multiple endeavours to reach the visual look that defines him today: simple, bold, striking and colourful. Sketches, works in progress, roughs and development for cancelled projects (such as a rebranding for Lacoste!) form altogether a great part of the book.


Although the written tone makes it hard to grip the attention of its readers, the production and design of the book is of a high standard; All content is presented chronologically, structured in a way that is very easy for the eye to follow. Russell’s words are always found on the right columns of the page, and it’s always interesting to read his own personal perspective on a specific project or a defining moments of his long practice.


Many creatives will identify themselves with Russell: the process to find a personal voice, the hard work that goes into self promotion, the transition from education to work and then back to education. The book will appeal to freelancers and students alike. Whilst it may be a specially inspiring resource to Illustrators with design sensibilities, it will appeal to all those who endeavour to discover proactive Illustrators with a great history behind them.

We look forward in seeing the new projects Russell creates in the future.


Other reviews you may be interested in:


Design Thinking for Visual Communication

Understanding Illustration

Jonny Hannah: Main Street at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

January 29th, 2016 by Special Projects


Jonny Hannah has transformed the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, installing three pop-up shops made entirely from the artist’s 2D and 3D artworks. Visitors are invited to take a stroll down Main Street, which features a collection of new linocuts, screenprints, and paintings, all available to buy.


Jonny Hannah: Mainstreet runs at Yorkshire Sculpture Park until 28th February 2016. More information about the exhibition and Yorkshire Sculpture Park here

Yo Illo Talk 24th February 2016

January 29th, 2016 by Special Projects

The theme of the Yo Illo event is Agents: Pros and Cons. This month’s speakers will form a panel discussion to talk about how illustration agencies fit into the business strategy of a freelance illustrator.

Members of the panel include award winning London based illustrator Rod Hunt, illustration agent Sam Summerskill, agent for the Caroline Sheldon Literacy Agency Felicity Trew and illustrator and AOI member Emma Block.

The event will be held at ustwo, 62 Shoreditch Highstreet from 6.30pm-9.00pm. All talks are free, and open to all illustrators, students and enthusiasts.

Full details here