Edwyn Collins’ illustration is all the more remarkable for being a skill re-learnt in just over five years, following a double brain hemorrhage sustained in 2005.
Collins, artist, solo musician and one time frontman of the band Orange Juice has retrained himself to draw left-handed having lost the use of his right arm.
This latest collection Edwyn Collins: Nature Punk will look at a full body of work from early line drawings to his most recent pieces. Some unseen works will be on display and large scale one-offs have been drawn.
‘Six years ago it was just a scribble but I’m improving, using more colour, more density and cross hatching,’ says Collins.
His latest study of British bird life will be included which captures 66 UK birds. Like the many studies before, this has been painstakingly sketched from his dining room table – one end of which ‘is a completely different colour from all of the graphite shavings,’ Collins says.
As a 19-year-old Collins was an illustrator for Glasgow Parks Department and designed booklets to accompany park walks, using a scrapeboard linocut technique, printing in shades of green.
Collins’ wife and manager Grace Maxwell says the name of the exhibition is derived from this time, when he led school parties on nature trails. Asked by an inquisitive child ‘Sir, are you a punk?’ Collins is said to have replied ‘Yes, I’m a nature punk.’
The ornithological studies have appeared as wallpaper in collaboration with wallpaper and ceramic design group Elli Popp, printed fabric in collaboration with department store Liberty, and as the artwork of Collins’ seventh studio album Losing Sleep, (2010).
Edwyn Collins: Nature Punk runs at the Idea Generation Gallery, 11 Chance Street, Shoreditch, London, E2, from 26 Febraury-6 March.