Here’s another letter from the alphabet project I’ve been developing with my mum (the letter J can be seen here). Even though I rarely wear hats, I do find them fascinating and it’s hard to resist adding them to illustrations – but this time I had the perfect excuse to go to town with them.
I’ve been working on a personal project lately with my mother – her words, my pictures for a giant alphabet book. The text my mum has written is so funny and such a joy to illustrate – here’s the letter J (for Jasmine Jerboa). I had great fun with this image collaging in some giant insects from an ancient French dictionary, and couldn’t resist adding a 70s-style thermos flask – essential equipment on any jungle jaunt, surely? I’d never looked properly at jerboas before – they are very endearing creatures, like miniature kangaroos.
It’s taken five years of wading, rummaging, sifting and heaving but my Wandle alphabet is finally complete – a complete A-Z made with objects found during clean-ups of the river Wandle with the Wandle Trust. I think my favourite has to be the false teeth ‘U’, though I am also very fond of ‘R’ and ‘O’. The ‘F’ is from a fish and chips sign.
I found the perfect T for my Wandle alphabet at the river cleanup at Kimber Road, Wandsworth yesterday. The alphabet is nearly complete – now I only need B, H, W and X, then it’s ready to turn into a poster.
For the last couple of years I have been trying to collect a whole alphabet from objects found in the river Wandle at the monthly cleanups organised by the Wandle Trust. Some letters emerge fully formed while others require a bit of imagination. What I like about them is the rich patterns and surfaces created by years spent sitting in the mud of the river bed, particularly the rich red rust of the letter R. I’m still searching for the rest of the set.
A screen printed edition of 35 posters for the Snout Claw Tusk Paw exhibition. Available from The Old Sweet Shop’s online shop.