Who isn’t into art and design these days? Who doesn’t expect even the little things, like our shower curtain or our tableware for example, to say something about the people that we know we were born to be. We want things that stand out, that are studio-designed, ethically made and retailed in hard-to-find boutique stores at prices that don’t make us cringe.
The timing couldn’t be better, then, for a graphic art fair bringing us the best highly designed, low-budget, tactile yet achingly cool, fair ever to hit town. Pick Me Up at Somerset House is London’s first-ever graphic art and design fair, featuring artists, galleries and collectives like Rob Ryan, London Print Club and Peepshow, Pick Me Up takes you on a journey through the graphic arts, via the artists studios themselves.
Similar to a kind of open studios, the neo-classical surroundings of Somerset House have been kitted out with some serious print machinery. The working recreation of Rob Ryan’s studio (complete with the man himself on the night FADwebsite was there) is not to be missed. Giving an insight into a working graphic studio – walls covered with first proofing prints, mood boards and memories, the space is an insight into the working environment of the graphic artist.
If the industrious energy of the studio spaces proves too much, then head over to Andy Gilmore and enjoy the contrasting serenity of his incredible abstract and retroesque pieces. Gilmore applies the understanding of one practice with the other – applying the proportions of harmony to form and colour – colours as chords – and scales as tonal gradations, in order to create geometric works of art.
It’s difficult to remain uninspired by the illustrators and designers in their (nearly) natural habitats at touching distance. If you are moved to participate, there are a number of options. Work made at the event can be bought for as little as £60 on the spot or if you’re feeling creative, you can try your hand at screen printing during one of the workshops from Print Club London.