Ahead of their second show together at Falmouth’s Here and Now gallery next month, Design Week caught up with illustrators Murray Sommerville and Daisy Whitehouse, collectively known as Dazeray, to discuss their ‘sweet and twisted’ work.
Design Week: Talk me through the premise of the exhibition.
Daisy Whitehouse: The premise of the exhibition is to have a fun and special way to tell each and every person that they are best at something. Let’s call it both a recognition and celebration of people’s unique strengths.
DW: When/why did you guys decide to exhibit together?
Murray Sommerville: Me and Daisy started collaborating halfway through our third year at university together. It started off as just a bit of fun, but after the success of our joint window mural and our exhibition in Birmingham, we managed to find the next opportunity in here and now fairly quickly after, so our fate was sealed from then to carry on combining our sweet and sick illustrative styles.
DW: The exhibition features characters that are good at certain actions. What things are you the best at?
Whitehouse: I know this, I know this….erm. Making pipe cleaner animals. And I think Murray is the Best at spontaneous storytelling.
Sommerville: I’m the best at talking myself into a hole, and then deeper and deeper after that. Daisy is the best at original costumes. She made her own Furby costume for Halloween.
DW: Do the same characters crop up in your work more than once, or are they unique to each trait?
Sommerville: I think a strength with me and daisy is that we’re always inventing new characters, it’s very rare that any characters live on into other projects unless they have legacies (in my case Toastie-O ). But no, especially in the case of this exhibition, they’re all new guys.
Whitehouse: The Characters are all freshly drawn, some maybe slight mutant offsprings of those who have come before them, but none are recycled.
DW: What made you decide to create an illustrated alphabet?
Whitehouse: The exhibition has a youthful and playful heart at the centre- The use of alphabet is reinforcing certain ideas that are present in our younger years, the nostalgic idea of an alphabet ties in with things that we remember we were good at, before we became concerned about how good our house or car is.
DW: How do you hope the show will make people feel?Whitehouse: Happy and proud. I just want to see someone come away from this exhibition and relate one of our characters to their friends, going ‘That one is you. You’re definitely the best at being modest’ or ‘You’re my favourite for cuddles!’
Sommerville: My aim is to make people feel proud of even the most ridiculous things! Do you have the largest wart? Then raise your hand up high. Does your breath kill all natural life within a 5 mile radius? Then congrats buddy, that is one special gift. I want people to embrace themselves, why be best at just positive things when you can be best at everything.
You’re My Favourite- A sweet and twisted illustration exhibition to remind you that everyone is good at something! runs from 2nd-29 June at 41a Killigrew Street, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 3PW.