Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Posh prints, swish wall stickers and affordable art

Maybe you can afford some serious one-off pieces of art for your walls. Maybe you can afford one or two. Maybe you're broke and your walls are bare. 

Either way - why not brighten up that blank space you're staring at with one of these tasty bits of design. The first in a series of three... 



This retro-style double decker bus print, 50 x 70cm, is just £15 from the V&A shop and designed by Japanese illustrator Takashi Furuya. You can find more of his lovely work at this online shop and, if you can read Japanese, learn about the artist on his personal website. Even if you can't read Japanese, it's a very sweet site and still worth a glance.

This pretty 1880 Yellow Bird print, by the Edward Lear, who is perhaps more famous for his crazy limericks, is quite weeny, at just 20x25cm, but costs just £10 and is one of a series of six from the V&A shop. Random Lear facts (if Wikipedia is to be believed): he was employed by the Zoological Society to draw birds, and briefly gave drawing lessons to Queen Victoria.


I want one of these Moose-heads from the Keep Calm Gallery. In fact I might want at least six of them for one big, bare and perplexing wall in the sitting room. I love, love, love them. But I also love the donkey wall sticker that I'll come to next time. And the idea of a whole wall of Penguin Classic postcards (see below), or some more of the garishly brilliant John Hinde prints from the incredible Martin Parr edited Butlin's book that I have just realised I really ought to blog about... But back to the Moose: he's £18, measures 546mm x 349mm and comes hand-printed on brown recycled kraft paper. Not sure what that is but it looks nice. 



Purchase this chirpy poster and When life gives you lemons you'll now know what to do. This uplifting old-school looking print is designed by Douglas Wilson (check out the very chirpy portrait of the typeface-mad artist on his own site: bold outfit!). The posters are hand pressed using an antique wooden type, making each one unique. They're £30 unframed and also come from the Keep Calm Gallery


Got a big wall to fill? Make a gallery of as many Penguin Classics postcards as you can muster (there are 100 in the box) and stick them in post-card sized frames (Ikea's cardboard ones are good for mass framing and don't look like cardboard if you squint - or even if you stand quite close). Or just pick your favourite jacket and stick it in a dinky-sized spot in a more extravagant frame. Staggeringly good value at just £14.99 from the Penguin online shop.
If, like me, the brutalist concrete archictecture of London's Southbank makes you go a bit oooooh, then this limited edition Southbank Centre graphic print by Paul Catherall, which measures £40x80cm, might be worth forking out £180 for. It's a lino-cut print, something Mr Catherall has become rather famous for, and there's also his take on the Hayward Gallery and several others to peruse. For more of Paul's prints, featuring other parts of London (and New York) in colourful and monochrome graphic form try the Paul Catherall website. I love his version of the Barbican Centre.

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