A couple of Sundays ago I headed to Somerset house for the contemporary graphics art festival ‘Pick Me Up’. This fun and funky exhibition was displaying graphic design in all it’s forms, from illustrations and prints to small sculptures and clothing designs. Print making is one thing I would love love love to try to get good at. How amazing to have your work admired, bought and displayed on people’s walls at home.
The great thing about this exhibition was that all the pieces were for sale at affordable prices. You could buy small prints from £20 up to a couple of hundred. This was a very exciting notion, wandering round knowing that if there was a piece that I loved and it wasn’t already taken I might be able to take it home with me.
I’ve sat in the courtyard of Somerset house before for an outdoor cinema before but never actually been inside. This was a perfect venue for this show. Different rooms and levels were available to wander round, each artist or printing house having their own dedicated area. The whole exhibition flowed effortlessly between two levels. Looking at the work I was so jealous of their skills. The clean prints, the amazing character designs. I really need to get my sketch book out more. It was inspiring! I need to practice, at the moment my designs don’t seem to match what I have in my head.
Now I have a bit of a thing about cats…in a good way. I’ve always loved cats since I was younger and I do have a gorgeous ginger tom called Milo, grumpy but oh so gorgeous. When we turned the corner I was faced with a wall printed with a giant cat illustration, and mounted on this was smaller limited edition prints by Jessica Das.
My eyes wide, I seemed to float towards this display. There was this cool print called ‘Cat Island’ awww the place where dreams are made of. It was a limited edition of 1. There was also another large print made up of cat and monkey designs of blues, reds and yellows. The choice of colours were bold but they just worked! Sadly this was £350, quite a bit out of my price range. I noticed stickers next to all her pieces of work. A sign that she had sold everything. How amazing!
Upstairs we found, housed in individual rooms, cutting-edge collectives and graphic art galleries. They had each curated their own studio space full of new and existing work from their artists. These were my favourite spaces. From quotes to character designs to logos, all surrounded by quirky props and sometimes even music.
As I wandered around the ‘Unlimited‘ room, I found myself stood in front of it. When I say “it” I mean…the one! The most fantastic print EVER! I just stood there staring. It was a limited edition print called ‘Thunder Kitty’ by Chloe Batchelor. The cat looked just like my Milo who often does this pose when he jumps out on you and then runs away. I was also a fan of Thundercats when I was younger. It just made me giggle and I know it’s going to make me smile every time I look at it at home.
They didn’t have any in stock with them but as soon as I got outside and got 4G I ordered it from their shop in Brighton. I shall take a picture once I have it all framed and on the wall in my flat. It does mean I will have to force myself to cycle to work for the next couple of weeks to make the money back, ah but it is so worth it!
I would definitely recommend going to this exhibition once it comes back to Somerset house next year. Even if you’re not looking for any art for yourself, it’s well worth just having a look around. The small personal feel to the place and the fun contemporary work was a breath of fresh air compared to the larger, more stereotypical art galleries that I have been to before. A brilliant Sunday out in London.
Here are the links to the artists and the galleries that I have mentioned in this post in case you want to check them out or buy anything for yourself.
Enjoy browsing 🙂