AboutThe longstanding friendship of artist Bryan Illsley and poet Christopher Reid has given rise to a number of limited edition artist's books. Baa is the most recent, combining Reid's poem of the same name, a re-imagining of the nursery rhyme Baa Baa Black Sheep, and prints of small paintings made by Illsley in response. The book has been produced by Tatjana Marsden.
As with many of Illsley and Reid's creative collaborations, Baa was essentially made as a gift for friends and supporters. But on this occasion designer and experimental typographer Alida Sayer has intervened, with the intention of bringing their little-known joint activity to a wider gallery audience. With the consent of artist and poet she has translated their work from the condition of intimate study to a transporting immersive experience, where visitors are invited to enter a wondrous environment of still and changing images and text. The original artefact sits at its centre.
Bryan Illsley (b. 1937) studied at Kingston School of Art and was based in St Ives from the early 1960s until his return to London in 1986. In St Ives, alongside his own studio practice, he worked for the Leach Pottery before forming a partnership with Breon O'Casey making jewellery. Public collections that hold examples of his work include the Arts Council, Crafts Council, Contemporary Arts Society, Victoria & Albert Museum, Kettles Yard, Cambridge and the Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto.
Christopher Reid (b. 1949) has worked as a poetry editor at Faber & Faber and Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Hull. He was awarded the 2009 Costa Book Award for A Scattering, written as a tribute to his late wife, the actress Lucinda Gane. Previous books produced in collaboration with Bryan Illsley include Two Dogs on a Pub Roof (1996) and Broken Bones (2003).
Alida Sayer (b. 1985) studied at Glasgow School of Art. Her design work has been featured in numerous design magazines and in books including 3D Typography (2010) by J. Abbink and E.C. M. Andersdon, published by Mark Batty and Lettering A Reference Manuel of Techniques (2012) by Andrew Haslam, published by Laurence King. Exhibitions include There is no why (solo) in 2010 in the Marsden Woo Gallery Project Space; Photo Stories (2011) at Saatchi & Saatchi HQ; and Presence-Absence (2011) at Kingsland Road Studio. She has recently been shortlisted for the Design Week 2012 Rising Star Award.
Marsden Woo Project Space is curated by Tessa Peters
The Marsden Woo Project Space is a space for experimental new work in art, craft and design and runs alongside our established programme of solo and small group exhibitions by gallery artists. The Project Space allows us to respond quickly to significant bodies of innovative work, particularly that of talented emerging artists and designers, as well as fresh directions in the work of more established artists. The exhibitions are organized at short notice, so please check our website regularly for news on forthcoming shows and events.
For more information, images, or to arrange an interview with the artists please contact Rachael Crabtree. Tel: 020 7336 6396 Fax: 020 7336 6391