Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Elphick's online art shop

It's a day of discovering lovely new things... Isn't this the sort of shop you want to just rush into?

Elphick's, in east London's Columbia Road, run by the artist Sharon Elphick (you can see her flowers in a vase picture in the window) is packed with the owner's well-chosen collection of art, including her own – and at very affordable prices.


I'd heard about the shop but have never been - but the online version is almost as exciting. There's so much great stuff I don't know quite where to start. Without doing an inventory of the entire catalogue, I'll attempt to self-edit and pick out a few highlights you might like the look of. But do check out the shop for yourself - there's a lot going on.

I really like this print, called Tuba, by Helen Lang aka Madamsange. It reminds me a bit of one of my favourite children's books, Patrick, by Quentin Blake, which has equally joyous visions of flowers growing where you least expect them, and shoelaces turning into giant ribbons. But Helen's boxy figure feels much more Fifites/early Sixties than the fluid, 1969-published lines of Blake. The print measures 30x40cm and costs £55. See more of Helen's work at her Wet Paint website.




Not sure if Russell Loughlan's work is still at Elphick's but it had its debut there last year. And I like his work so much I thought I'd include it - plus a link to his site, above, just in case. I know Russell, but hadn't seen his work until it appeared at Tales from a Park Bench, a special pop-up shop/ performance art/writer-y thingy I took part in. But back to Russell, who combines illustration, found imagery, vintage postcards, antique maps and pop culture. Elphick's were selling them in recycled frames for £145 each.

I tried hard not to feature one of Sharon Elphick's lovely bird artworks and picked this postcard montage instead (are those John Hinde cards?). A woman after my own heart, not only does she cherish old postcards, but seems to share my love for bird ephemera. (In my house, from where I'm sitting right now: I can see one money-box - a 1970s brown owl; one lamp - one of Ed Carpenter's pigeon lights; a sticky-in-the-ground wooden garden ornament (from Brazil) and my Ikea outdoor bird fairy lights.) Wish You Were Here, at her more expensive end, is £350.


I love Charley Harper, as old-school followers will know. But I've struggled to find prints of his work –in desperation I bought a Harper memory card game from the Saatchi Gallery shop and framed the whole pack of little squares. I like it, but I also like this print, which is one of about ten that Elphick's is selling – it's £40. And I also now know why I had struggled to find Harper prints before – Elphick's is the only place licensed to sell them.

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