Tuesday, 9 April 2013

River Wandle Alphabet

I came across this colourful and unusual alphabet print because it was on display in a restaurant near my house (Brick Box in Brixton Market). 

It is by children's illustrator, Jane Porter, and it's made up from something quite surprising – photographed and then turned into this artwork. Can you tell what the letters are made from?


Jane lives close to south London's River Wandle, and as part of a project she worked on with the Wandle Trust, which looks after this waterway, she fished out objects from the river and used them to depict letters of the alphabet. It's the same principle used by the artist Ella Robinson, whose gorgeous, colourful salvage art I wrote about a while back – but she uses objects she's found washed up on her local beach.

Sounds like quite a job: "It’s taken five years of wading, rummaging, sifting and heaving but my Wandle alphabet is finally complete – a complete A-Z made with objects found during clean-ups of the river Wandle," she explains. "I think my favourite has to be the false teeth ‘U’, though I am also very fond of ‘R’ and ‘O’. The ‘F’ is from a fish and chips sign."

You can buy the print, in A1 size, for £20 from Jane's website – with all proceeds going towards future Wandle Trust work.

Jane illustrates books for small people, and her first is Duck Sock Hop, by Jane Kohuth (Dial Books). Check out some of Jane's other animal-based children's illustrations too, which she sells as prints via the Art Cabin. I like her monkeys.

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