An Interview with Jo Angell

Jo Angell is preparing for her upcoming show: ‘Awash’ here at Of Cabbages & Kings. Featuring new works from a recent series of prints and paintings; abstract pieces, reflecting the interplay of land meeting water. The inspiration has come from landscapes as diverse as the harbours of Iceland to a riverside Essex village. Her images break the world down into bold graphic shapes, and the melding of texture and colour often reflects the interaction between industrial materials and nature.We’ve asked her a few questions and she talks us through her inspiration and processes.

What is your artistic weapon of choice? Pencil, pen, paintbrush, digital….
All of them in combination! It really depends what I’m working on. With my digital prints I often create shapes, textures and line elements with paintbrush and pens using black ink. I then scan these into my computer and start to work in a digitally creative way, to add colour and layering. With my paintings I use acrylic paint on canvas or plywood. I’m experimenting a lot with paint at the moment, with different brush sizes, substrates and acrylic mediums.


How long have you been printing and painting for?
Following a long career as a graphic designer, I did an MA in Textile Futures at Central St Martins in 2006-2008. It was during this course that I got back into screen printing (actually for wallpaper designs) and become involved with the digital revolution for print on textiles. This progressed into creating all sorts of surface pattern products. One of these was a collection of greetings cards which Tate Modern bought for their shop. I started to think of these as graphic prints as they were popular. This got me hooked into making archival quality digital prints. I also won the opportunity to create some work in a new gallery and further experimented with a set of prints for this. I’ve always painted, but in the past few years I have more felt the desire to experiment with paint and create one off pieces. Acrylic paint has suited me as I love how quickly it dries, and how rapidly I can create layers and textures.

How do you start building up an image?
With some of my paintings I have become interested in a less structured process. This might involve sketching on the canvas and painting a first rough layer. Then I like to allow myself to be more free and respond with the colours and space in any way which takes my mood at that moment. I find this interesting as sometimes this fails, and sometimes something unexpected and fresh emerges.

Where does your inspiration come from?
Travelling and finding new places always inspires me. I take a lot of photos and having just looked at them, there’s a strong theme that I’m always drawn to remnants of bygone eras or worn remnants of industrial bits and pieces. The textures on worn metals, woods and rope. In the past few years, I have been lucky enough to spend time painting in an Essex riverside village called Wivenhoe where boat shapes, rusted chains, buoys and worn wood gives me inspiration aplenty! I’m really inspired by the post war artists who went to St Ives in Cornwall such as Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Patrick Heron, Peter Lanyon who sought to create abstract work about the feelings of immersion in a place rather than be representational, using different materials.

Do you find having a background in Graphic Design influences your work?
To me, design and my art are linked. It’s all about balance of form, space and colour. I heard a quote from the artist Ben Nicholson recently which really resonated ‘Abstraction should be a vision of order like good design.’

Your work has a very distinctive set off repeating forms. Do you find yourself drawn to certain shapes and colours to explore a theme?
Definitely! I think most people doodle the same thing when they doodle. Mine tend to feature curves, reflections and rotations of these shapes which could be related to my textile design and pattern making background.

What’s your favourite takeaway?
Is this a foodie question?!
If it is, I love Thai vegetarian curry from Tootoomoo!

To see more of Jo’s work check out Jo Angell’s page on the OC&K site.

Advertisements

Introducing Studio Nilli

Studio Nilli is the brainchild of industrial designer Huw Williams. Based in North London he produces 3D printed plant pots from bioplastic, an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional plastics.

Huw Williams creator of Studio Nilli

These little pots are stylishly designed and celebrate the ribbed texture created by 3D printing. With a nod to Scandinavian design, they are minimal, light and elegant. We stock three colours of the Studio Nilli pots, White, Dark Grey and Teal.  With five different sizes to choose from, there is sure to be one to fit any corner of your home.

The Medium Geometric Planter and the Tag Legged Planter

We have asked him a few questions about his process and inspiration as well as looking at the pots in closer detail.

Huw William’s 3D printer in action, producing a Studio Nilli pot

How did you get into 3D printing?
I’ve always been interested in 3D printing a tool for designers to prototype and test their concepts, but I didnt get the chance to experiment much with one whilst I studied Industrial Design and Technology at Brunel Uni. I bought a cheap kit printer from China to learn more about it back in 2016, and through testing the boundaries of my machine and experimenting with different printing techniques I started printing pots for my plant collection (which was fairly out of control back then).

How does your design process start? Through drawing or digital?
The design process is pretty fluid for me, but I do like to start with sketching as the main medium. I have several sketch books, but mostly I draw with whatever is available when something triggers an idea. Once I have an idea sketched out, I’ll make a card model or jump onto the computer and start drawing on Illustrator, or onto a 3D design package.

What inspires the shape of your designs?
The original origami pot shape I started Nilli with was a natural progression from some origami textures I modelled for a project at Uni. After graduating I experimented with casting cement into single use card moulds, even did some slip-casting moulds for ceramic pots, before deciding it would be a great form for the pots I 3D print now. The leggy pots come from a love of mid-century modern design and Scandinavian influences. I think the main thing that excites and influences me is how to use the materials and process of 3D printing in a unique and novel way, contrasting with other materials and textures, using the process to produce forms that would not be possible with other forms of manufacture.

Tell us about the bioplastic you use?
So the plastic I use is a common 3D printing material – PLA or Polylactic Acid. It is a bioplastic, which means that it is produced from organic materials like sugarcane or cornstarch. This is fermented to produce lactic acid (the same stuff that gives us cramp after too much rigorous exercise), which is then polymerised – lots of lactic acids chained together – to make polylactic acid. The main benefits of using this plastic is that it is a renewable source of material, does not use petrochemical fuels as a base so is non-toxic, so when printing it doesn’t release any harmful gases – it actually smells like sugar when printing. It will also biodegrade faster than normal plastics, over around 500 years it will break down naturally, or it can be industrially composted and it will return back to its base organic compounds in a few days. I also recycle waste that I produce into jewellery, coasters and hopefully larger items soon. It’s a minimal amount, because 3D printing is an additive process and there is not much waste involved, but I think its important to use as much as possible!

Lets take a closer look at the pots:

The Large Geometric Planter

The Small, Medium and Large Geometric Planter’s have a strong graphic shape, almost origami like. These pots sit flat on a surface, with a cork base to stop scratches. They are not only plant pots, perfect for those succulents and cacti! Use them for anything from storing pens and pencils on your desk, to a tidy for make up brushes or accessories.

The Short White Legged Planter and the Tall Dark Grey Legged Planter

The Tall and Short Legged Panters are the curvaceous cousins of the Geometric Pots. Clean and modern shaping, with a distinctly mid-century modern feel.  These pots sit proudly on two sizes of beeswax finished wooden legs. The plump curves, satisfyingly hugging the legs, create a pleasing synergy between the two materials. The White Planters have beech legs and the Dark Grey have walnut, giving a complimentary natural feel.

Find more Studio Nilli planters at ofcabbagesandkings.co.uk

Shop for more Studio Nilli Planters online at ofcabbagesandkings.co.uk