Paul Leith: Technicolour Carlisle, by Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery

Knowe Park Avenue, by Paul Leith (2017, felt)

The work of 20th and 21st century editorial and print illustrator Paul Leith is set to go on show in a new exhibition at Carlisle’s Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Cumbria.

Leith worked as an illustrator in London for 30 years from the 1960s to 1990s, creating work for brands and publications including Radio Times, The Economist and British Rail.

His early work was drawn with coloured pencils, moving on to acrylic paints and hand-cut stencils in his later work.

The museum says of the illustrator: “From 1984, Paul became one of London’s top illustrators working constantly for the next 10 years.”
Anecdotes include the artist’s wife Tina Leith and his neighbours helping him meet demand by cutting out stencils, faxing roughs to clients and making cups of tea to stall couriers collecting art work while it was being dried off with a hairdryer.

“But as digital became dominant, Paul and the fax machine went under the radar,” the museum adds.

Leith moved back to Carlisle in 2009, and since then has created colourful, public murals in the city, some of which are made of felt and have become a “much-loved part of the city’s cultural landscape,” says the museum.

The exhibition will be a retrospective of his commercial work from 1966 until the 1990s, alongside his more recent murals. It will also include an activity area where visitors can create their own artworks, which aims to encourage them to “take inspiration from Paul’s infectious creativity and spirit”.

Paul Leith: Technicolour Carlisle will run from 27 May – 1 October 2017 at Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Castle Street, Carlisle CA3 8TP. Admission price is included in general admission to the museum, which is £7.70 for adults, £5.50 for concessions and and free for those aged under 18.

The Age of Bachelors, by Paul Leith (1990, collage)
Time Passing, by Paul Leith (1984, stencil)