Today I’m going into shady territory. As you know, I love all things craft, surface design and photography, and I usually leave illustration and graphic design to other folk better qualified to talk about them than I. However, Louise Jenkins has such a lovely piece that comes with a compelling story, I just had to share.
Illustrator and artist, Louise hails from Worcester in the middle of England. She’s had quite a career already, working as a senior designer for Royal Worcester Porcelain, where she some time working closely with Jamie Oliver around the time of his first series The Naked Chef. “He was incredibly enthusiastic and we had regular meetings with him in the early days and I really enjoyed the whole process. He helped get designs through the studio that would have never left our desks previously.” She has also worked for Royal Doulton and Wedgewood.
But really, what I’d like to show you is this recent piece of beautiful work from Louise, and talk about how it has come about.
Louise loves animals (as attested to by the number of animals in her illustrations!), and is a big supporter of all things environment.
She introduced me to ONCA [One Network for Conservation and the Arts] and told me a little bit about them – they are a non-profit group dedicated to working with artists and communities to raise awareness about climate change and conservation through art.
She had worked with them previously, and then late last year found out their next project was to focus on the Arctic. “I had been doing some personal illustration of Arctic animals, and I was eager to find out more. When the brief was put on the ONCA website I contacted them again and my artists proposal was accepted.”
This very beautiful piece of work is entitled Patterns of Nature and is the result of the commission for their current exhibition Our Time In Ice. The work features the face of an Arctic fox at its centre, and is surrounded by patterns inspired by Inuit beadwork and embroidery. The layers of pattern are also reminiscent of the strata of ice layers, and are built up using gouache, watercolour and cut paper.
I love its gentle blue-grey hues, and of course, how can I resist those layers of pattern?
The artwork is for sale from the ONCA gallery, with 50% of the proceeds going to the charity.
You can find out more about ONCA and this current exhibition here.