The Ruel Deal

‘My sketchbooks have become a valuable tool for me, a place where I can retreat to and in what might in fact be the only conclusive proof that I have actually existed’, says illustrator Stuart Ruel.

sketchbook
sketchbook

Proving that he actually does exist, this Thursday sees the opening of Recto/Verso – an exhibition from London-based illustrator Stuart Ruel at The Book Club in east London.

sketchbook
sketchbook

The show will feature a new work from Ruel – a large painted mural  – alongside sketchbook work and a collection of new illustrations.

Circle I
Circle I

The sketchbooks provide an insight into Ruel’s practice – and this is reflected in the show’s title. Rector denotes the front page; Verso the back page – and sandwiched in-between are the folio pages that comprise the illustrator’s ‘muses, concepts, practices, rants and neuroses’, according to The Book Club.

Circle II
Circle II

Together, these provide a telling story: each work, mark and scribble is specific to place, time and inspiration over the last four years.

sketchbook
sketchbook

Ruel’s work is influenced heavily by literature and music, and the illustrator has previously  worked on album covers and publicity material across the British hip hop scene including Sercoee, Cally and Kingsley Zah.  Behind his works lie weighty underlying themes such as love, the sublime and mortality – creating a nod to ephemerality and fallibility of the human condition.

Babylon
Babylon

Recto/Verso runs from 8 March – 29 April at The Book Club 100-106 Leonard Street London EC2A

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