Fancy seeing an exhibition featuring some stunningly rendered illustration work? Want to check out some beautiful and delicate sculpture? In the mood for some elegant, balanced typography? If you are, we would advise you to steer clear of London’s Haywood Gallery until the middle of May. They’re currently showing Brain Activity, the first major UK solo show by Glasgow-based artist David Shrigley. Being big fans of his work, we checked it out last weekend and whilst we can confirm you won’t be seeing any of above, you will see a fantastic mix of interesting, bemusing, weird, thought-provoking and utterly hilarious drawings, paintings, photography, sculpture and animations. Thankfully, the opportunity to exhibit old and new work on a large scale in such an established gallery space hasn’t tempted Shrigley to stray from his signature style; a combination of crude, cack-handed imagery that effortlessly walks the line between ridiculous visual puns and abstract, emotive poignancy.
2011. It’s been busy, it’s been stupidly quick and most importantly, it’s been good. Along with the constant stresses and pressures that go along with doing what we do, this year has been a decidedly positive one here at Dolphin Heights. We thought a good way to round off the year was to take a quick look back at what we’ve been up to in the last 12 months. What’s been keeping us busy in and out of work, where we’ve been, what we’ve been doing and who we’ve been doing it with.
Simon Birch is and artist based in Hong Kong. Working mainly in large-scale, figurative oil paintings, his recent direction has included installation and film. Past exhibitions have been held throughout the world including at London’s Haunch of Venison Gallery and Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art. With more recent shows in Hong Kong, such as ‘Laughing With A Mouth Full Of Blood’ and a large-scale collaborative exhibition entitled Hope & Glory. Filling the 20,000 square feet of ArtisTree Exhibition Space in Beijing’s Taikoo Place, the installation took the viewer through a metaphysical world, or ‘conceptual circus’ and saw Birch working alongside a broad range of collaborators including artist Stanley Wong, photographer Wing Shya, British music producer James Lavelle, filmmaker Eric Hu, designer Douglas Young, architect Paul Kember, actor Daniel Wu and Beijing-based artist Cang Xin. Birch’s work explores the concept of ‘universal ideas of transition, the ambiguous moment between an initiation and a conclusion, the unobtainable now and the future, inevitably crashing towards us’.
His work has been featured and reviewed in many international publications, including Artforum, The Guardian, The International Herald Tribune, Time Out and the New York Times. He was kind enough to take some time out and get involved with our Ten Questions series.
A while ago we received an email out of the blue asking if we’d like to be involved with an upcoming typography exhibition. Imaginary Menagerie is being held at Text/Gallery in Holborn and features work from a number of designers exploring ‘language’s difficult, tongue-tripping, unpronounceable labyrinths typographically and in their own language’. Using typography to visually communicate a difficult to say phrase or sentence sounded like an interesting brief, so we promptly agreed. Well up for it.
In 1991, after being told by his tutors at Chelsea College of Art and Design that he ‘wasn’t good enough’ to become an artist, John Dowling realised he needed a change of direction. When someone encouraged him to pursue Graphic Design, he went for it although does admit to not knowing exactly what it was at the time. In the years since then he’s learnt in no uncertain terms what it means to be a graphic designer and has honed his skills at some of the most prestigious agencies around.
Starting his employment at the now defunct Area (a studio established by two former designers from Peter Saville Associates) John went on to stints at the almighty Pentagram, SEA and Frost before setting up Dowling Duncan alongside his former Pentagram colleague Rob Duncan. They’ve used their wealth of experience to produce a great body of work for clients such as AIGA, Apple, The British Museum, Google, John Lewis, Microsoft, The Serpentine Gallery… This list goes on.
John kindly agreed to get involved with our regular Ten Questions series. Here’s what he had to say…
We first became aware of the work of Liam Brazier through the image bookmarking site Ffffound. His illustrations of Star Wars characters and superheroes in a distinctive, skewed style caught our attention = simple, stylish and refreshingly original. We checked out his portfolio and saw a wide range of varying styles and techniques in both static and moving image for clients such as Dazed & Confused, Creative Review, Design Week, Glastonbury, the Museum of London and Virgin TV. So, we thought we’d get in touch to see if Liam would be interested in answering our Ten Questions. He kindly obliged and gave us the following insight into the life of an illustrator – although please, don’t call him that.
Our blog has been comparatively quiet over the last couple of weeks, mainly due to ridiculous amounts of client work (which we’re not complaining about), looming deadlines and a couple of well deserved holidays in the sun. Feeble excuses aside, we’re back in your face like a plate full of shaving foam with another Five Things that have caught our interest this week.
Tate Britain‘s current exhibition is The Vorticists: Manifesto For A Modern World. We haven’t had a chance to see it yet but we’re definitely going to check it out before it closes on 4th September. The exhibition ‘celebrates the full electrifying force and vitality of this short-lived but pivotal modernist movement that was based in London but international in make-up and ambition’. Adopting the spirit of Blast – the art movement’s short-lived journal launched by Wyndham Lewis – Tate and Creative Review have teamed up to invite submissions on the themes of ‘Blast’ and ‘Bless’. The entries are currently available to view on the Blast/Bless Tumblr site and will be projected at Tate Britain during the upcoming Creative Review ‘Tweetup’ (apologies for the use of such a cringe-inducing word) on the 21st July.
It’s Friday, it’s sunny and it’s time once again to let you know about Five Things we’ve seen this week which we like. Encompassing a number of areas including advertising, design, second hand shops, passport stamps, jelly and toys, there’s sure to be something for everyone.
Last night we traveled to The Parfitt Gallery to attend the opening of ‘The Designers Republic Come Home To Croydon‘ – a solo exhibition of work by Ian Anderson shown in his childhood home town. The founder of the legendary Sheffield based studio was showing various pieces of work curated from the last 25 years.
What do a series of murals on the walls of Philadelphia, an iPhone App, a coffin, Gareth Pughs Spring Summer 2011 collection, Boris bikes and a barn in Suffolk have in common?
They’re just a few of the nominees featured in the prestigious Brit Insurance Designs of the Year Awards. The nominations, which were announced this week, are taken from seven areas which cover broad range of design disciplines. The categories are architecture, fashion, furniture, interactive, product, transport and, the one we’re most interested in, graphics. The selection is an eclectic affair and will be displayed at an exhibition at the Design Museum from February 16th. The aim of the exhibition is to promote the finest design the world has produced over the last year and eventually crown one of the shortlisted nominees ‘Designer of the Year’. Previous winners include Gorillaz co-creator Jamie Hewlett, industrial designer Yves Béhar and London student Min-Kyu Choi, the creator of the folding plug.
Well, it seems like only a few days ago I was hanging up my stocking and untangling the Christmas tree lights. Before you know it, another year is upon us and the team at Mat Dolphin are charged up and ready for a good one. We’ve hit the ground running with some great new projects on the horizon and we can’t wait to get stuck in.
Catching up after the Christmas break and comparing socks, we got into a chat about what non-Christmas related activities we got up to. Being the geeky types who spend a bit too long slaving away in front of our layout pads and computers, the chance to go and check out the latest exhibitions and events is always a pleasure. We thought we’d share a couple of the best with you.
Hello again. Amidst another busy week here at Dolphin Towers, we are proud to present the tenth installment of our regular Five Things series. A quick trawl through some of the interesting creativity we’ve spotted over the last seven days.
Click below to check out what’s caught our eye recently.
Hellovon is the name of the London based illustration studio run by Von. Since 2006, Von has been churning out distinctive, beautiful illustrations for a great client list including Nike, Liberty, Glenfiddich, Ministry of Sound and Habitat. His appeared in a number of publications including Creative Review, Dazed and Confused, Rolling Stone and Playboy.
He was kind enough to answer our Ten Questions.
Here we go, five more creative and inspiring things that have been spotted around the internet over the last week. Without further ado, here they are…
We decided a Mat Dolphin field day was in order. Last weekend saw a trip to St.Albans to check out the exhibition and get a first hand look at some behind the scenes photography, original props, concept sketches and other Kubrick-related artefacts. Curated by The Museum of St Albans and University of Hertfordshire, the exhibition was fully supported by the Kubrick Estate and the Stanley Kubrick Archive at the University of the Arts.