Spring 2002

British pictures on the move

Picture this

British Council touring exhibition and and catalogue, 2001-02.
Design: Angus Hyland/Pentagram. Curated by Hyland with Roanne Bell.

The tabloid newsprint catalogue for ‘Picture this’ features seventeen London-based illustrators. The work of these artist/designers, well trained

and accomplished, is impressive in its richness and variety. You are left with the thought that the contributors, who have clients such as Nike, Virgin, and Levi’s are nevertheless doing exactly what they want to do.

Jasper Goodall, whose work was featured inside and outside the last issue of Eye (no. 42 vol. 11), is included in the show. When asked in an interview for the catalogue about his reliance on the computer, he comments: ‘Technology can’t produce great art and design by itself; you still need talent and visual awareness to direct its capabilities.’ Goodall is not alone in his feelings. Most of the illustrators admitted that the computer was certainly a large part of their process, but that the hand had not been entirely rendered obsolete. Other British illustrators featured include Anthony Burrill, Paul Davis (see page 84), Kam Tang, Shonagh Rae and Graham Rounthwaite, whose self-portrait is a join-the-dots diagram.

Marion Deuchars, whose work has a modern, tech feel while remaining painterly, says: ‘I never draw on the computer. I treat the machine exactly as a silk-screen, assembling images in layers, combining them, changing mainly scale and colour.’ Although most of the illustrators incorporate the computer into their design, there are a few traditionalists such as Chris Kasch, who ‘does not even own a computer’.

Despite differences in techniques and media, the collection has a youthful flavour that effortlessly holds the work together. The tour will continue throughout the year, travelling to Tehran, the Lebanon and Damascus, Syria, South and Central America and possibly Cuba.

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