One of my earliest memories of storytelling conjures up visions of the dark, twisted and beautiful illustrations from author Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Queen tale.
The illustrations from the book left a bigger impression on me than the story itself and it looks as if Nightshade, an exhibition at the KK Outlet launching tonight (Thursday), is about to do the same.
Designer and image-maker Alaric Hammond, originally conceived Nightshade for Design Event North East last October. The KK Outlet, asked Hammond to expand on the initial concept and curate the show at the gallery this month, calling on his friends and fellow illustrators Emily Forgot and Amy Dover to help.
‘The role of the illustrator is to tell a story,’ explains Hammond. ‘We aim to depict characters in this exhibition, though there is no set narrative – it is merely suggestive.
‘Nightshade explores themes that is inherent to storytelling, slightly dark with a playful child-like side.’
So what can we expect? Collectively, the trio has produced 30 graphite drawings, collages and prints, which will be on sale throughout the exhibition.
Elements of storytelling, animalism and even acts of violence ties the work together, though each individual artist has stamped their own mark on the exhibition.
Dover’s attention to detail in her pencil drawings tackles the aspect of nature confronting subjects of death and humiliation common to man, bird and beast. While Forgot and Hammond embrace the odd and surreal in graphic and playful collages.
As the old idiom goes, a picture’s worth a thousand words, and by the looks of the preview images from Nightshade – it might just be right.
Nightshade opens from 8-30 April at KK Outlet, 42 Hoxton Square, London N1