Just A Card

We have been hearing and listening and watching the Just A Card campaign that has been moving around and making some noise recently. The idea behind the campaign is to bring awareness to how much even the smallest purchases, like a card, can make a huge difference to small businesses.

We have been thinking about how this fits into what’s happening at Of Cabbages and Kings. The shop has been in business for 7 years now. We’re lucky as enough people came and bought just a card to support us and help us grow through some extremely difficult times. Those cards add up to something more significant and we’d like to say a big thanks to those Stokey locals who kept coming back and buying ‘just a card’ over the years. While we’re now past the point where the purchase of a card can make a big difference in the daily or weekly takings, we do remember those days.

However, Of Cabbages and Kings does not exist in isolation. The truth is that selling ‘just a card’ is still important to our business, because it makes a big difference to the artists and makers who’s work we carry. Cards help spread a name, a brand, an idea or aesthetic and it is often the selling cards that allows the artist create their individual paintings, prints and illustrations. The cards that we sell are often miniature versions of bigger pieces of artwork, as in the case with Mister Peebles, who produces their illustrations in many sizes, from cards up to A3. For other brands like Mardy Mabel with her pithy text, cards are created as unique pieces and form the backbone of the business.

about5

Mardy-Sex

We support the Just A Card campaign because it supports artists, makers and independent businesses that make up the Of Cabbages and Kings shop, community, friends and customers.

Join the conversation using hashtag #Justacard

Just+a+Card+poster

Advertisements

Marcelina Amelia Exhibition and Interview

Our next exhibition in the shop is with Marcelina Amelia on May 7, from 7-9pm and will continue through to the end of June. We will be showcasing Marcelina’s limited edition hand-pulled screen prints and original paintings.instagram_ofcabbages

Marcelina’s work combines painting, drawing and screen-printing techniques. Originally from Poland, she draws inspiration from Polish religious iconography, folk tales, childhood memories, dreams, sexuality and human relationships. Her works are an uneasy mixture of lustful darkness and adolescent innocence. Inspired by pot plants, trapped wildernesses in miniature, the overcrowded streets of London and never ending online content, this body of work examines the relationship between humans, individuals and their environment. Marcelina utilises nature as a metaphor for everyday feelings and headaches.

-What is your artistic weapon of choice? Pencil, pen, paintbrush, printing squeegee…

I actually use all of them. I always start with the pen or pencil though, and then see where the work takes me. Because of my Fine Art and Illustration background, screen printing came in handy as I can mix both painting and drawing in one.

-What do you miss the most from living in Poland? 

I miss polish food, especially my grandma’s cooking. I also miss polish humour, it is very hard to translate it into another language. Believe me I’ve tried! I also miss the nature, in Poland we have both mountains and the sea, and beautiful countryside too –
and people, obviously.

Marcelina_cabbages_kings-How do Poland and London influence your work? 

Marlene Dumas once said that she never quite knows where she is. I have a similar feeling, that I’m always somehow divided between London and Poland, and that I’m never 100% present in a space and time. Suffering from a typical immigrant expat syndrome made me more aware of my own culture, and it became a source of the inspiration for my work.

Polish folk tales, religious iconography the aesthetics of School of Polish Poster, my own memories of growing up in Poland and the importance of family values have had a strong impact on my work. But, at the same time, London taught me a lot about the freedom of expression and being experimental, which gave me all those feelings that I would never experience if I stayed in a country that I was born in.

London is full of extremely talented people and interesting events, which motivates me. I also think that it made me grow up faster and made my skin thicker. But most importantly London, and its overcrowded alienation, is one of the themes that I find myself attracted to.Marcelina_cabbages_kings_girl

-A lot of your work seems to be very self-referential. Do you see it as a self-portrait?

Sometimes it happens unconsciously, I’m not trying to draw myself, but the final outcome resembles me. When I was a kid and I was learning to draw, sometimes because of the lack of the model around, I would sit in front of a mirror and spent hours drawing myself in different poses and expression just to practice. I would spent a lot of time drawing my younger cousins too, so every time I paint or draw a kid it has something that resembles one of them.

Usually I’m trying to tell a story or to illustrate a certain feeling, and a person that appears on a paper is just like an actor that is helping me to communicate the message.

At the same time, I can’t deny that my work is very personal.

-Do you find yourself returning to themes with your work?

Yes, I do often revisit the themes of my own and my family’s past, of growing up. I constantly find my family photographs as a great source of inspiration. Our relationship with the environment, where are we in terms of time and space, is also one of the themes I find myself going back to. I do often try to illustrate emotions.

– How long have you been printing?  

I’ve started learning about screen printing at the end of 2013. I took a fantastic course at Print Club London, and haven’t stopped printing since then.

-What is your favourite takeaway?

I’m trying to eat healthy these days, but I would not ignore a good kebab from Super Kebab in Stoke-Newington and I love sushi from Wasabi.
I do usually go out for coffee though, they have an amazing flat white in Haberdashery, and fantastic cakes in Bienvenue!

Kid Spirit

Local artist Johnathan Reiner has produced a series of hand-pulled screen prints entitled ‘Kid Spirit’. His masked child figures confront the viewer, questioning relationships, childhood and the expansive and wild possibilities of the imagination.

Johnathan trained as a doctor in Neuroscience, but in recent years he has been devoting much of his time to learning the art of print making. In his screen prints he combines graphic and illustrative components with drawings and the manipulation of photographic textures and details to explore colour, pattern and composition.

 

Kid Spirit I - Maui
Kid Spirit I – Maui

Kid Spirit II - ChicksKid Spirit II – Chicks

Detail from Kid Spirit II - Zoro
Detail from Kid Spirit II – Zoro

Sugar Snap Studio

Sugar Snap Studio was set up in 2012, to house the growing collection of illustrations for children by Jessie Ford. To date, her work has included packaging for Mothercare, suitcase illustrations for Samsonite, children’s books for Abrams Publishing USA, and murals for Sophie Dahl, to name a few.

Last Summer, Sugar Snap Studio’s products were sold in Selfridges, as part of the Bright Young Things show, with the Poundshop Collective. She has exhibited widely, in New York, Milan, London, and this coming Winter, in Japan. Sugar Snap Studio’s graphic and colourful designs are due to hit the shops this Spring, when it’s first stationery line will be launched.
Jessie’s simple illustrations of creatures great and small depicted in bold colours are distinctive in style. Here are a few of our favourites:
Image
Bear Hunt by Sugar Snap Studio
A young boy consults his book as he wanders through the dark woods on a starry night followed by a procession of bears wearing party hats.
Fox by Sugar Snap Studio
Fox by Sugar Snap Studio
Mr Fox is looking very dapper in this striking orange and back print.
Image
Bear on a Bike by Sugar Snap Studio
This big smiley black bear peddles through the park on his penny farthing bicycle.

Introducing Marc Gooderham

A new exhibition went up in the shop over the weekend and I’m very excited to let you know all about it. There’s an element of the outside coming in here as there’s a few immediately recognisable local street scenes from the surrounding East End.

Marc has put together a series of Limited Edition Prints concentrating on the city’s decaying and unique architecture. They capture the singular beauty to be found in those neglected buildings that have fallen into disrepair as the living city of London continues to evolve around them.

“I had always set out to paint the city I knew and which is close to my heart. Avoiding the repetitiveness of London’s landmarks depicted in many paintings my aim was to capture an alternative view of the city. As much as I love the monumental buildings that create our skyline, it was the side streets and alleyways that seemed to hold a mystery for me.

I love the freedom of the city, getting lost in the crowds. It can be claustrophobic yet there’s also the feeling of loneliness and isolation. It’s these feelings that allow you to create your own world within the city.The atmosphere can change according to weather, season and the time of day, which makes it the perfect subject to paint. It can be the drama of sunlight hitting a window or the glow of a street lamp or chimney tops against an unsettling sky.

I began to explore the East London streets discovering something magical and new each time. I saw the street corners in a different light, almost appearing as cinematic compositions. I was able to visualise them from reality to canvas.”

Fashion Street
Fashion Street by Marc Gooderham

As the face of London changes overnight, it’s apparent that these views of the city, the architecture of crumbling and faded grandeur are beginning to vanish before our eyes. Desolate buildings, with their peeling paint, numberless front doors, and glimpses into empty rooms through uncurtained windows invite contemplation – of the lives once lived here, and the new lives that continue to do so.

Wilton's Music Hall
The Music Maker by Marc Gooderham

The Music Maker illustrates the facade of the famous Wilton’s Music Hall, an example of London’s decaying and unique architecture, beautiful and decorative buildings that appear desolate, living on amidst an ever-evolving city. The layers of paint applied to Wilton’s exterior over the years chime with the generations of Londoners ushered through her doors to enjoy music, variety and spectacle. Even if you’ve ever passed the building you can imagine the revelry and cabaret emanating from within. Though paint may fade, Wilton’s Music Hall remains one of the most colourful places in the East End.

Late Afternoon, Spitalfields
Late Afternoon, Spitalfields by Marc Gooderham

Marc’s prints are currently on display at Of Cabbages & Kings