I’m honoured to have been asked to adapt some of my subverted prints of Richmond and Twickenham for the wonderful Stables Café in the grounds of Orleans House, Twickenham. Some of these etchings and engravings are adapted from the collection of my great-grandmother, Nellie Ionides who had a home in the borough from 1928 until her death in 1962, spending her time here committed to protecting its natural beauty and heritage.It’s a beautiful old cobble-stoned venue with original Georgian stable divides, and in a lovely coincidental local twist the café new owners had approached me having seen my work elsewhere and they were not to know from my Polish surname that it was my great-grandmother who had purchased that exact building in 1928, alongside the magnificent Gibbs Octagon Room, rescuing it all last minute from destruction by the gravel merchants who had already quarried tons from the site.Deeply enamoured by the borough having moved here almost a century ago, on her death in 1962 she left it all to the borough with the instructions that it should be used as an art gallery for the people of Twickenham, housing her now-famed collection of local etchings, paintings and prints, which was also all bequeathed to the borough. What she would make of my interpretations is another story – but I am told she had a great sense of humour…
Just to assure you that during this Coronic time my printers and couriers are still fully active, as am I, so I am still very much taking orders for prints and posters as well as taking artwork commissions. There has never been a better time to stick some new stuff up in your isolation booth at the same time as supporting your supplemental businesses, creative enterprises and needless whims for pointless luxury!
I also have a new Spreadshirt store with some lovely mugs, t-shirts, caps and badges – let me know if there is anything of mine you want to see on a garment and I’ll make it happen!
It was a great honour to once again be commissioned by the gallery to create some new reinterpretations from their amazing archive for their exhibition, and I at once chose a hilarious piece from 1844 celebrating the meeting of King Louis Philippe, Duc d’Orleans and his entourage with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert – I couldn’t help feeling there was something deeper going on in the expressions of the subjects than just a jolly diplomatic encounter – to me their faces seem to betray other emotions and the urge to give them all thought bubbles got me thinking… so I made seven other themes of equally absurd, cynical or fantastical diplomatic encounters… some play on the staged aspect, some on the futility, some on hidden and blatant agendas, and a couple of topical comments on dubious diplomatic relations of the day.
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