This year the Camberwell College of Arts illustration graduates eschewed central London to hold their show in a warehouse in Copeland Park behind the Bussey Building, an area which has changed beyond all recognition since I shared a studio there after graduation with Simone Lia and Catherine Vase. Nowadays Peckham is a seething hub of creativity, with the cafe culture to support it. Eighteen years ago (gulp!) not so much so.
Phlegm artwork adorning the Bussey Building, which used to be known as SANA.
The exhibition was aptly named In Place Peckham: when I arrived some of the illustrators were kicking a ball around with local kids, and a few of the final projects were the result of work (and play) within the community. Peckham may be changing but it’s still a very deprived area of London, so it was good to see a thoughtful engagement from students who clearly consider the place where they studied an important factor in their creative development.
I’ve been to a lot of shows this summer and I’m incredibly late posting my reviews because we’ve been away a lot as well. So here, without further ado, is my run down of favourite pieces found in Peckham. Soonmi Jung creates wildly energetic paintings and I fell in love with her book, After the Tide, about becoming engulfed in the sea whilst hunting for pretty pebbles – with illustrations that wonderfully evoke the untamed nature of the coast in glorious technicolour.
This subtle wood texture print is by Matt Dunlop.
I thoroughly enjoyed some spot on commentary about excessive mobile phone use from Daryl Rainbow. Of course, I fully get the irony of taking photos of his illustrations on my mobile phone and subsequently sharing them on instagram (where I first shared all my finds a few weeks back).
This interactive sculpture by Lara Preiti explores the reasons why structures might collapse in earthquakes. I also like the quizzical faces on ceramics that remind me of the Easter Island monoliths.
Nepalese illustrator Gaurab Thakali created colourful illustration inspired by a love of jazz.
Large scale fabric cacti and succulents by Jess Money dominated the corner of a room.
Haylea Rush also worked in fabric to create this somewhat jokey fabric sarcophagus.
Bizarre aggregations of flowers, fruit and body parts remain a very popular trend amongst graduating illustrators, by Lisa Mallinson.
A decorative ceramic roast chicken by Camille Thirot-Lafond was cast from a plastic one she found in a pound shop, part of a commentary on how we attribute value to objects.
These pretty patterns are by Soo Nyeong Shin.
Ara Cho had created a plethora of tiny colourful collages inspired by the act of dining.
Soap was re-formed into oddly familiar shapes by Caz Slattery, one of many artists interested in imbuing everyday objects with a new significance.
I really liked Chloe Greenfield’s patterned ceramics and textiles display, part of her Greasy Shrine installation.
Beautiful fine porcelain was adorned with delicate illustration by Anna Baldwin.
This joyful astronaut cat and giraffe illustration is by Rebecca Barnett.
Surreal interiors by Yvonne Wiecek were inspired by a love of fiction.
I love the perspective on this campfire scene by Amy Grimes. She also created these coral ceramics and sheep.
A love of science and nature inspired a series of very detailed work by Natalie Rowe.
To support the In Place Peckham exhibition the students raised money via Kickstarter to produce a beautiful show catalogue. The exhibition was also lovingly realised, but I had to spend an inordinate amount of time matching the work to the illustrators, as everything was number coded and had to be checked back to an A4 sheet. This made for a slick show on the walls but it was a nightmare to write about: future graduates please take note! It’s a shame, also, that Camberwell students did not accept my offer to list their graduate show on my website (as I did for Kingston and Bournemouth). When I didn’t hear back I clicked on over to their website and nicked a few images to use in a listing for the June Open House at Camberwell College of Arts. The result? A major art book publisher got in touch with me because they want to work with one of the students whose work I featured. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: new graduates have to grab every opportunity to promote their work, for this is not the end it is only the beginning… and you never know where offers such as mine may lead.
Follow me on instagram to discover new art in real time as I find it.
- Camberwell College of Arts: Ovo Show Illustration Graduate Show 2011 Review – Downstairs 2
- LuckyPDF Exhibition @ UNITY
- Camberwell College of Arts: Mixed Special Illustration Graduate Show 2012 Review
- Save Our Souls: Camberwell College of Arts Illustration Degree Show Review Part 2
- Home Sweet House