Thursday, 28 October 2010

The new Art Books, Prints and Cards Room opens today

Designed to look like an old libray, the new Art Books, Prints and Cards Room is crammed with glorious objects for the paper lovers of this world.

The room also includes our latest discovery, Brighton-based artist Alice Pattullo. Each year we select a collection by a recent graduate to add to the shop. We are sent hundreds of submissions throughout the year and we’re always on the look out for something really special - and we’ve found it in Alice Pattullo’s work.

A graduate of Illustration at Brighton University, Alice explores the possibilities of traditional screen-printing to achieve the vintage textures and colours found on antique posters, advertising boxes and paperbacks.

What has really struck us about Alice’s work is her sophisticated mixture of images and historical references. The themes she uses in her work which can be as varied as 1930's Broadway musicals, Scrimshaw, American folklore and even historical hairstyles. Her work conjures up contradictions; the images appear frivolous but are often macabre, the colours are nostalgic but also sinister and the overall feel is genuinely historical but bang up to date.

This print, We're in the Money is part of a series that looks at Busby Berkeley musicals from the 1930's and 40's.

Our prediction is Alice Pattullo is one to watch. The new Whistles store in Brighton agrees and recently commissioned Alice to create the ‘secret street signage’ around the town to direct customers to the store.

View Alice's work in the new Art Books, Prints and Cards Room.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Cabinet of Wearable Wonders

New York based jeweller, Erica Weiner creates unusual jewellery which often conjures up images of antique entomology cabinets stuffed with wonders - just perfect for our annual online exhibition The Menagerie; works inspired by the natural world.

Erica creates delicate and wearable sculptures using the ‘remnants of life’, such as a 65-million-year-old fossil of a Nautilus shell which is cast inside and out in silver, the minuscule pelvis of a mouse, the vertebrae of a small snake to, my favourite, the unbelievably tiny bronze skull of a hummingbird.

Erica's cabinet can be found The Menagerie exhibition.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

New Kitchen Linen Room Opens Today

A collection of hand-printed linen t-towels and canvas shoppers by British illustrator Megan Price has just been launched in the all new Kitchen Linen room.

Megan's collection includes her signature prints inspired by vintage signage and packaging, old cafes and the wealth of imagery found by the British seaside. Traveling around the country Megan photographs and sketches fading signs, menu boards and items for sale such as cakes and breakfasts. Coming back to her studio in Manchester she translates these sketches into hand printed textiles using only the best quality 100% cotton twill.

TIP: A customer told us that she had framed her Cake Time tea towel in the kitchen instead of using it - making a bold, graphic statement.

Visit the Linen Room to see the full collection

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Hybrid Creatures - Porcelain Sculptures

Sophie Woodrow’s porcelain figures have been collected by devoted private patrons for over ten years and can be seen on display in numerous high-profile galleries throughout the UK. We are excited that she has exclusively created these five one-off pieces for The Menagerie Exhibition.

Sophie was drawn to working with clay from an early age. A graduate of the prestigious Falmouth College of Art she has refined an intricate labour-intensive technique involving coiling, incising and impressing to create a delicately textured surface.

Pursuing an interests in natural history, Sophie has looked particularly at our continually shifting theories of evolution. With an interest in the Victorians and their exploration of nature, these one-off porcelain sculptures resemble the hybrid creatures found deep in the archive of Victorian medical collections.

These creatures are not visitors from other worlds, but the ‘might have beens’ of this world.

The five pieces are available from The Menagerie Exhibition -under Sophie Woodrow

Threadbare Birds

Get ready to fall in love!

These beautiful studies of British garden birds, made using recycled fabric by artist Abigail Brown, have to be seen to be believed.

Recently exhibited in Liberty’s of London and in the windows of the grand Takashimaya department store on New York’s Fifth Avenue, these little limited edition creatures have now flown into our Menagerie exhibition.

Perfect gifts for ornithologists or just for those who love stunning objects made out of re-used materials.

The collection can be seen here.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Clara Francis- Beaded Wonders

Clara Francis’s work is simply awe inspiring. Hundreds of tiny Japanese glass beads in a rainbow of subtle shades are hand stitch and sculpted to create the most beautiful jewellery. Her work can be seen in many collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum which commissioned her to create a necklace based on one of their 18th century Spitalfields silk textiles.

Inspired by the natural world, Clara’s collection features hummingbirds in mid-flight, fluttering butterflies and sleeping insects - each one hand made by the designer in her London studio.

Clara has created five exciting new pieces exclusively for The Menagerie exhibition. Each one is based on an etching by the 17th century wonder woman, Maria Sibylla Merian, taken from her book of etchings The Insects of Surinam. Clara has recreated these with such an accuracy of shape and depth of colour that Merian herself would surly be please with the result!

Please click here to see Clara's collection

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Our annual online exhibition launches today

We are so excited to announce the launch of our much anticipated annual online exhibition, The Menagerie; works inspired by the natural world.

The exhibition will take you through virtual rooms inspired by our favourite natural history museums each displaying one of ten collections from designers including; Clara Francis, Abigail Brown, Jessica Polka, Sophie Woodrow, Erica Weiner, Emma Harding, The Feathersmith, Alex Randall, BarnebyGates and Daniel Heath.

Over the coming weeks we will be writing about the individual collections but for now here is a selection to give you a feel of the exhibition or if you just can't wait click here to go straight to it!

We hope you have lots of fun exploring.