Amelia’s Magazine | Tent London 2011 Review: Best Furniture Design

Tent London 2012 review -anthony hartley
Furniture by Anthony Hartley.

This year I once again visited Tent London hot on the heels of London Fashion Week. At the end of September the creme de la creme of the product design world held court at the Truman Brewery, look and I’m here to bring you the best of the bunch. First up my favourite bits of furniture design.

Tent London 2012 review -anthony hartley
Beautiful and very unique furniture from Anthony Hartley; waves of colour splashed across drawers and curved around walls in long shelving units.

Tent London 2012 review -jan plechac
Czech designer Jan Plechac showcased versions of his favourite chair designs in wire.

Tent London 2012 review -senufo
The A & Z Design furniture stand was attracting people with a very cute dog. I liked their senUFO side table the most. It would be very cool in a kid’s bedroom.

Tent London 2012 review -squint
Furniture makers Squint were showcasing a collaboration with the London Transport Museum – using classic hardwearing Moquette fabrics (familiar from the tube) within their trademark patchwork upholstery designs.

Tent London 2012 review -nobody and co
What a brilliant idea for a chair cum bookcase from Italian company Nobody&Co. Obviously inspired by the same problems I have: an overwhelming number of books with no home.

Tent London 2012 review -ercol
What a hit: bold 50s influenced textile designs on simple modernist furniture from the well established brand Ercol.

Tent London 2012 review -nobody and co
Tent London 2012 review alex garnett
Oversized household objects become kitsch furniture thanks to Goldsmiths trained Alex Garnett.

Tent London 2012 review -shell thomas
Tetronimoes by Shell Thomas were created by invitation from JJAM Curators’ Collective – what an ace idea for a kids’ playroom. Visitors were encouraged to use the velcro strips to rearrange the cushions and create new shapes of furniture.

Tent London 2012 review -rex chair
My new favourite new chair comes from the Rex range, straight out of Slovenia. So comfortable, I want this rocker now.

Tent London 2012 review -spellner milner
Alison of Speller Milner design is a RCA graduate who makes elegant furniture topped with pretty graphic decoration.

Categories ,2011, ,50s, ,A & Z Design, ,Alex Garnett, ,Alison, ,Anthony Hartley, ,Chair, ,Czech, ,design, ,designer, ,Ercol, ,Furniture, ,goldsmiths, ,Jan Plechac, ,JJAM Curators Collective, ,London Design Festival, ,London Transport Museum, ,Moquette, ,Nobody&Co, ,Oversized, ,Pillhead, ,review, ,Rex, ,Rocking Chair, ,senUFO, ,Shell Thomas, ,Slovenia, ,Speller Milner, ,squint, ,Tent London, ,Tetronimoes, ,textiles, ,Truman Brewery, ,Upholstery

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Amelia’s Magazine | Serco Prize for Illustration 2014: Call for Entries

Anne Wilson for London Transport Museum Serco prize
Illustration by 2011 winner Anne Wilson.

I am really excited to announce that I will be one of the judges for the 2014 Serco Prize for Illustration. You’ve only got a few weeks left to submit your work, but I urge you to give it a go – there’s always a very high standard to choose from and the best are shown in an exhibition at the London Transport Museum. Here’s our reviews of the prize artworks from 2010 and 2011, and below is all the official information you need to know: I look forward to seeing your entries!

London Transport Museum, in partnership with the Association of Illustrators (AOI), is delighted to announce that submissions are now welcome for the Serco Prize for Illustration 2014. This year the theme is London Stories.

London Transport Museum Serco prize2012
Illustrations by 2012 prize winners: Finn Clark, Christopher King and Guy Roberts.

‘Across the ages, London has produced and inspired countless stories. Fictitious or real characters and events in this amazing city have always held fascination, from the anecdotal urban myth to grand tales of historic legend. The aim of the competition is to attract artwork for display that is colourful, inspiring and celebrates a vibrant, multi-layered London.

Visually capture a well-known or lesser known narrative in a single image; all stories, current or historical, real or fictional, which feature this amazing city are welcome – your imagination is the limit. Stories could be those seen in a film or play, heard in poetry or music, read in literature or an urban myth. Impress the jury with your illustrated interpretation of a London story and be in with a chance of having your work displayed at the famous London Transport Museum and winning the top prize.’

London Transport Museum Serco_Anne-Wilson_2011
The winning image from Anne Wilson in 2011.

Prizes will be awarded in three levels:
First prize: £2000 and display of image on a LTM poster
Second prize: £1000
Third prize: £750

There is also the possibility that your shortlisted image will be featured on merchandise sold in the museum shop.

The competition is open to illustrators and students of illustration throughout the world. The top 50 entries selected by a panel of judges will be displayed in an exhibition at London Transport Museum that will open Friday 14 February and run until Sunday 6 April. The winners will be announced at a private award ceremony on the evening of Thursday 13 February. Make sure you read the terms and conditions on the website before you enter.

The deadline for entries is Sunday 3 November 2013.

Other judges include renowned illustrator Brian Grimwood, Libby Hamilton from Templar Publishing, Neil McFarland from UsTwo and Michael Walton from the London Transport Museum.

Categories ,2014, ,Amelia Gregory, ,Anne Wilson, ,AOI, ,Association of Illustrators Award, ,Brian Grimwood, ,Call for Entries, ,Christopher King, ,Finn Clark, ,Guy Roberts, ,Judge, ,Libby Hamilton, ,London Transport Museum, ,Neil McFarland, ,Serco Prize for Illustration, ,Templar Publishing

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Stories: The winners and my favourites from the Serco Prize for Illustration 2014

Gill Bradley, Monkey Band

Gill Bradley, Monkey band at large in Notting Hill 1927.

It’s official: I am a twit. Despite being invited by The AOI to sit on the judging panel for this year’s Serco Prize for Illustration I managed to entirely miss the actual exhibition at the London Transport Museum. Doh. This I put down to my current inability to attend evening events such as the preview night (I keep telling myself that these difficult toddler years won’t last long…) combined with the fact that I completely misread the end date of the show. Double Doh. So, despite my best intentions to see the artworks in reality before I blogged about my favourites, in the end this is a very late post, based on the same images we were asked to chose from as judges. It was a tough choice, with such a high standard to choose from and so many entertaining tales to learn along the way, but here are the winning choices, and below them some of my favourite London Stories:

Designer and animator Gill Bradley was declared the unanimous winner with her depiction of a not so well known story of an escaped monkey jazz band (see above) – chosen for it’s vibrant and unusual subject matter, with the added bonus that the event took place on London Transport.

Nicholas Stevenson_Frost Fair

I particularly loved Frost Fair by runner up Nicholas Stevenson, featuring curious characters at one of the famous Frost Fairs held on the Thames when it froze over.

Eric Chow_ Lady Bridge

Third prize went to Eric Chow for The Lady Bridge, a technically brilliant and evocative interpretation of the rebuilding of Waterloo Bridge by women during the Second World War.

Erica Sturla, The Menagerie in the Tower

Erica Sturla’s The Menagerie in the Tower shows the famous Royal menagerie in the Tower rendered in chaotic contemporary style. You can buy a variety of items featuring this design here.

london stories, Long Wolf and Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show - Melvyn Evans

Melvyn EvansLong Wolf and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show was a popular artwork, depicting an infamous occasion during the reign of Queen Victoria, when a Sioux Chief brought his show to the American Exhibition for Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. There were 300 performances and 2.5 million tickets sold but sadly Long Wolf contracted pneumonia and died in London, forgotten until 1991.

Oranges and Lemons - Eliza Southwood

Eliza Southwood’s Oranges and Lemons riffs on the well known song (which was a popular theme for many illustrators) and features a glorious graphical representation of the actual churches from the tune.


Everyone loved the tapestry inspired River Pageant 2012 by Sue Prince.

London-stories-Richard Williams Wide Boy

There were many more idiosyncratic notions of London to chose from, such as Richard Williams’ illustration Wide Boy, with many of London’s most iconic attractions stowed away inside a capacious coat.

Elisa Cunningham Pelican Lunch - London Stories

Pelican Lunch features a pelican attacking a pigeon (apparently based on a rather upsetting incident found on youtube), by Elisa Cunningham.

London-Stories-White Bear - Paul Garland

I was most taken with the striking image of a White Bear by Paul Garland, based on the story of the polar bear kept at the Tower of London by Henry III, with a chain long enough that it could swim in the Thames and catch fish. In a nice decorative touch London transport signs make up the links of the chain.

Nathan Reed The Guardians of the Tower

Nathan Reed’s playful image of The Guardians of the Tower was one of many images that focused on these famous birds.

Gog and Magog - Helen Lord

According to the tradition, the giants Gog and Magog are guardians of the City of London, depicted here asleep under the bustling city by Helen Lord.

Starlings on the clock, Sonia Poli

Finally, Starlings on the Clock by Sonia Poli is an intricate papercut collage based on the moment in 1995 when a flock of starlings landed on the minute hand of Big Ben and put the time back by 5 minutes.

There were many more images that I loved, so do check out the London Transport Museum website, where you can still buy your favourite in poster form.

Categories ,Elisa Cunningham, ,Eliza Southwood, ,Eric Chow, ,Erica Sturla, ,Frost Fair, ,Gill Bradley, ,Gog and Magog, ,Helen Lord, ,London Transport Museum, ,Long Wolf and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, ,Melvyn Evans, ,Monkey band at large in Notting Hill 1927, ,Nathan Reed, ,Nicholas Stevenson, ,Oranges and Lemons, ,Paul Garland, ,Pelican Lunch, ,Richard Williams, ,River Pageant 2012, ,Serco Prize for Illustration, ,Sonia Poli, ,Starlings on the Clock, ,Sue Prince, ,the AOI, ,The Guardians of the Tower, ,The Lady Bridge, ,The Menagerie in the Tower, ,White Bear, ,Wide Boy

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Amelia’s Magazine | About a River: The Serco Prize for Illustration at the London Transport Museum

To Tower Bridge and beyond by Henry Billington

Detailed, buy abstract, dreamy or stylish – the exhibition at the London Transport Museum showed the River Thames being all these things. But as different as they were, each image presented the Thames as a symbol of the city of London, and a uniting feature for Londoners.

This is the third time the Museum has collaborated with the Association of Illustrators (read last year’s account from Jenny Robins here). Most of the illustrators who made it to the 50-strong shortlist had focused on highlighting London landmarks, and how the river ties everything together. Others turned their eye to the bridges, either through detailed reproduction such as in Kate Rochester’s entry, or in this wonderfully colourful piece by Amelia’s Magazine contributor Abigail Daker.

So much to see by Abigail Daker

Bridges by Kate Rochester

Bridge on Saturday by Jonathan Lam

A less bright but very stylish entry came from Jonathan Lam, whose image shows the Hungerford Bridge with passing riverboats. It’s not a great bridge, Hungerford, straddling the train track going into Charing Cross station, but it redeems itself by its usefulness as the main entrance to the South Bank from Soho. My favourite entry was probably that of Henry Billington, showing Tower Bridge as it opens to let boats through. After Tower there aren’t any more bridges (at least not until the Estuary) and the river becomes a different animal, less glossy and more industrial. The only entry that really hints at this is that of Pete Starling, which includes the fascinating Thames Barrier.

The long river by Sam Bevington

Three slices from a river by Pete Starling.

‘Over under sideways down’ by Kevin O’Keefe was another favourite, with its clean lines and nods to the design of the London Underground roundel. Similarly, Sam Bevington’s contribution with its retro-futuristic feel, reminds us how the Thames was once a workhorse and not just a pretty face. The river is calmer these days, but its function remains equally important; every time we cross the bridges, it’s there for us to look at and remember why we live here.

Over under sideways down by Kevin O’Keefe

The river and dreams by Juste Kausaite. All images courtesy of the London Transport Museum.

The illustration exhibition has now finished, but you can visit the London Transport Museum at the Covent Garden Piazza, London WC2E 7BB.

Categories ,Abigail Daker, ,Association of Illustrators, ,Henry Billington, ,Hungerford Bridge, ,Jonathan Lam, ,Juste Kausaite, ,Kate Rochester, ,Kevin O’Keefe, ,london, ,London Transport Museum, ,London Underground, ,Pete Starling, ,River Thames, ,Sam Bevington, ,Serco Prize for Illustrations, ,Thames Barrier, ,Tower Bridge

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Ignacia Ruiz: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.

Ignacia Ruiz
Ignacia Ruiz was born near the Andes but has chosen London as her home. Since graduation from her degree she’s had a packed schedule, featuring in numerous exhibitions but happily finding time to produce some artwork for Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion too.

ignacia Ruiz Portrait
What has prompted your lifelong obsession with greenhouses and plants in general?
I think it started with the very first place I lived in. There was a small greenhouse in the centre of the house and I can remember being about 4 years old and going in to water plants with my mum. It always seemed like the most magical place! I think that has remained my impression ever since. Being from the city and surrounded mostly by buildings has made me see plants and greenery as a precious thing.

Ignacia Ruiz
Ignacia Ruiz
You love to sketch on location – how did you set about capturing the hothouse atmosphere of the greenhouse?
For me it was getting the mix of the delicate architecture of the steel frame and glass against the organic structural shapes of the plants themselves. The tropical heat of the greenhouse hopefully comes across on the vivid colours of the plants in the drawings!

Ignacia Ruiz
What was the best bit about growing up in Santiago de Chile?
Weirdly enough I think it was probably the topography of it. You can drive from the city to the seaside in an hour to have a swim and later drive up the snowy mountains all in the same day. The variety of landscapes is lovely. My favourite thing in Santiago is seeing the Andes mountains at sunset. The snow turns red and orange and you can see the beauty of them in stark contrast with the glass and steel of the buildings.

Ignacia Ruiz
Why did you pick London for your study?
Initially I was only coming to London for maybe a year, but a lot happened in that time and I felt like it was the right place for me. I then applied to do the Graphic Design and Illustration BA at Central Saint Martins and got offered a place. That’s when I decided I wanted to stay here and try to develop my career. It’s been going well ever since!

Ignacia Ruiz
How do you translate your location sketches into finished works of art and what is the process?
My sketches are usually very fast and loose, so I like to have finished work that retains some of that quality. I have found that with print methods like linocut and woodcut I can emulate the drawing pen with the chisel. I guess it’s the same idea, just a different tool. I love playing with negative space and the bold flat colour you get with relief printing. I also like the imperfections of the print that relate to the initial rough sketch. I’m not a perfectionist printmaker at all!

Ignacia Ruiz
I believe you’ve just completed a residency in Italy – can you tell us more about this?
Yes, I was very lucky to have been asked by the print studio Opificio della Rosa to come and work in an artist book. I decided to make a reportage project of the area the studio is located in, the Conca Valley. I travelled around with my sketchbook documenting the people and places I encountered. Later I returned to the studio to turn the drawings into woodcuts. It is an ongoing project that will be finished and published in 2016.

Ignacia Ruiz
How did you get the commission to illustrate a Penguin book and what was the process of producing your final artwork?
One of Penguin‘s art editors came to our second year illustration exhibition and liked some of the work I was exhibiting. We kept in touch until finally she said she had a project that would suit my work. It was a book about the planning and logistics of the Crusades. I was so excited, especially since all the research consisted in looking at beautiful period illuminations and films depicting the Crusades. The artwork went through several roughs before it was approved by Penguin and was finally rendered in a woodcut style with thick black outline and very little colour.

Ignacia Ruiz
Can you tell us more about the recent exhibitions you have taken part in?
There has been a few this year apart from my degree show. I had a piece in the AOI’s Places and Spaces exhibition at the London Transport Museum, I did a cover for Alice in Wonderland which was featured at the YCN Student Awards at the Barbican Centre, I had a project about depicting boxers training in a gym in Islington featured in the Reportager Award at the UWE in Bristol and my City linocuts series appeared at the Cheltenham Illustration Awards. It’s been a busy year!

Ignacia Ruiz
What next, will you stay in London and if so why?
I have some commissions and teaching jobs on at the moment so London feels like the right place to be. We shall see what the future brings!

You will be able to own your very own copy of Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featuring the work of Ignacia and many others… just make sure you grab your book once my Kickstarter campaign launches in a few weeks time.

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,AOI, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Cheltenham Illustration Awards, ,Coloring, ,Colouring, ,Conca Valley, ,Crusades, ,Ignacia Ruiz, ,illustation, ,Kickstarter, ,linocut, ,London Transport Museum, ,Opificio della Rosa, ,Penguin, ,Places and Spaces, ,Reportager Award, ,Santiago de Chile, ,woodcut, ,YCN Student Awards

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