• New_work_last_colour_in_progress
  • Measuring_handmade_screens
  • Me_stitching
  • Handmade_cmyk_registration_mark
  • Half_finished_letterforms
  • Handmade_letterform_front_and_back
  • New_work_pattern_ctepeo
  • New_work_pattern_o
  • Stitching
Graphic Design

Evelin Kasikov

Posted by Alex Bec,

Forget the stuffy reputation a bit of cross-stitch may have, because Evelin Kasiko is singlehandly dragging it into the contemporary arena. Originally from Estonia, and having developed a love of craft during her MA degree at Central St.Martin’s, she is now crafting some of the most staggering work I’ve seen in a long time. Almost unbearably precise and time-consuming, we couldn’t help but sit her down and quiz her about her practice in the lead up to her new show, Craft Meets Music, opening this month.

Hi Evelin – I was a little gobsmacked when I saw your work – can you tell us a little bit about you and what you do?

I have background in graphic design and my current work stems from my long-term fascination with printed matter. I started to experiment with handmade graphics during my MA at St Martins, to explore the space of print outside commercial practice. As part of my MA project I developed CMYK cross-stitch technique, which is transforms printing technology into handmade form. Craft is an interesting medium for me, but my embroidery is detached from what it is usually defined by. I work with handmade techniques but my work is analytical and rational. It is free from decorative and feminine associations of craft and this is exactly what makes my work different.

Are you a pretty patient person away from your practice?

Yes I would say so. The patient and time-consuming methods of creating my work reflect very well who I am as a person. As well as similar language, Estonians share the same personal characteristics with Finns: we tend to be shy and introverted. Finns have a joke about their personality: an average Finn will stare at his feet while talking to you, but an outgoing Finn will stare at your feet while talking to you!

What can we expect to see at your new show, Craft Meets Music which opens this month?

Craft Meets Music is a joint exhibition, together with jewellery designer An Alleweireldt. We both use old vinyl records as a starting point and source of inspiration. In my series of works craft meets music through graphic design. I am interested in materiality of the medium, how the image is produced and how it is perceived. I used small fragments of cover imagery to reveal halftone patterns, and stitched these enlarged dot screens on to twelve inch square format paper.

As part of my work I also looked at Soviet record covers from the 70s and 80s, released by the major state-owned record company in the USSR, Melodija. Based on visual language of these covers I created handmade patterns that play with the notion of stereo (they appear three-dimensional through colour or texture). This is a glimpse into Soviet pop-culture and a visual exploration into nostalgia in many forms – content, colour and type.

Craft Meets Music is open from 14 to 28 May 2010 at Craft Central, 33-35 St. John’s Square, London EC1M 4DS

You’re originally from Estonia – why did you decide to move over to London, and how is the design scene different?

I was working in advertising and I felt I needed a break form commercial practice. So I started to look for MA courses with strong typography programme – I really wanted to focus on personal work and I wanted to learn. To apply for St. Martins was a conscious decision, I had seen degree shows of MA Communication Design and I was really impressed by the high level of research and editorial design work.

I don’t think I can compare design scene in London and Tallinn: Estonia is a small country with a total population of just 1.3 million people. Graphic design in Estonia has been very commercial with almost no difference between design and advertising. We do not have strong typography traditions, majority of work produced by creative agencies is very visual; image is always preferred over type. However, the design scene has changed in recent years. Many young designers have studied abroad and have brought these influences back by setting up their own studios and collectives. What I love about London design scene is the spirit of experimentation and risk-taking. Many design companies also produce self-initiated, uncommissioned studio work, you don’t see that very often in Estonia.

Ab-300

Posted by Alex Bec

Alex is one of the directors of It’s Nice That who now oversees our sister creative agency INT Works. For several years he oversaw the Monday Morning Music Video feature until it came to an end in 2014.

Most Recent: Exhibition View Archive

  1. Olafurlist

    “Riverbed is running.” So tweeted Studio Olafur Eliasson yesterday – a poetic press release if ever I heard one – to announce the opening of the Danish-Icelandic artist’s latest epic installation. Something of a titan in the art world, having already created moon, he’s now built riverbed in the south wing of the Louisiana Musuem of Modern Art in Denmark.

  2. List

    If, while walking down the street, flicking through a magazine or sitting on a bus recently you’ve found yourself looking at a movie poster, you’re probably in some way come into contact with the influence of Hans Hillmann. When the German graphic artist began producing film posters in 1953 at the height of the Modernist era, few realised he’d have such a profound effect on the industry, but his bold, Minimalist-inspired creations set a new standard for .

  3. List

    I’ll be honest and say that usually when I see the words “exquisite corps” in relation to a creative project, I immediately lose interest. So often this collaborative idea – used by the surrealists as a liberating drawing exercise – is used without imagination or flair. But a current exhibition at Walls Gallery in Amsterdam looks like a fantastic exception to my rule.

  4. List

    Dutch illustrator Stefan Glerum is one of the most accomplished image-makers working today. His latest show at London’s Kemistry Gallery is a whirlwind of references; from Art Deco to Bauhaus, Italian Futurism to Russian Constructivism; criss-crossing time and space with enviable style. Called simply Five Years of Work By Stefan Glerum, the exhibition features work with which even casual observers may be familiar, but that doesn’t in any way lessen its impact. In fact it’s exhilarating to go back to, say, the Bayern State Opera posters he made with Mirko Borsche and consider them anew in the wider context of his portfolio. Quite simply see this show if at all possible.

  5. List

    It’s not a flawless guide, but you can often tell how significant the subject of an exhibition is based on who writes the foreword in the show’s catalogue. That Milton Glaser contributed an essay for Ivan Chermayeff: Cut and Paste at The De La Warr Pavilion is a good guide that if you’re interested in graphic design, he’s a name with which you should be familiar.

  6. Main10

    It’s so great to see the Nous Vous lads continuing with their quest to bring a gentle spark of inspiration to the general public. Their latest venture is an exhibition in the enormous old factory-turned-cultural centre, The Tetley in Leeds. A Watery Line will exhibit “drawings, prints, paintings and objects, producing new artwork in on-site open studios and working with a selection of other artists to deliver a programme of performances and workshops.” Ahead of the opening of this exciting, friendly show, we asked Nicolas Burrows to tell us a little more about the planning of the exhibition and what they hope the public gets out of it.

  7. List

    Bold printing, toying with scale, subverting nature and confounding the senses seem to be the defining elements of Richard Woods’ work. The artist and designer made a name for himself mimicking wooden patterns in bright colours on the surface of furniture, but his skills extend beyond simple tables and chairs. In his latest show at Albion Barn he’s been given free reign to customise every inch of his exhibition space; the walls, floors and furnishings of an area in which he’s exhibiting a selection of original prints. It’s a pretty bold move to allow an artist to reinvent the entire gallery, but Richard has undertaken the task with characteristic flair, turning the whole environment into a vibrant, cartoonish set in which his work seems entirely at home.

  8. List

    I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking; “How on earth did that priest train a dolphin to carry him like that?” Or maybe you’re thinking; “Where did the photographer have to stand to capture that image?” Or perhaps, in fact, you’re thinking; “This HAS to be fake.” But all of these lines of inquiry are valid in the world of Joan Fontcuberta, the Spanish artist and photographer who’s latest exhibition has just landed at The Science Museum’s Media Space.

  9. Ws

    It’s not a revelation that festivals of today are not what they used to be. Flower garlands have been replaced with plastic ones that you can buy at Topshop, barely adolescent bands mime where once musicians gave career-changing performances and free loving, all-night dancing sun drenched affairs have morphed into a race to see who can snog a semi-famous TV presenter first. We’re not bitter about it though, especially not when we’ve got photographs like this to remind us of the golden age.

  10. Opinion-list

    This week assistant editor Maisie Skidmore asks what makes a good group show. Are they really all they’re cracked up to be, or are they poised for failure? Tell us what you think of them and which you’ve been to that were especially brilliant or terrible in the comments section below.

  11. Main6

    I love how Ryan McGinley will just burst on to the scene with a bunch of new work every now and again to remind everyone of his utter greatness. As soon as you see the new shots you realise that while you’ve been peddling backwards at a nine-to-five, Ryan’s been photographing kids jumping into phosphorescence-filled bays, streaking wildly through prairies or lying in meadows of fluff given off by procreating trees. Some people call him a one-trick pony, sure, but it’s pretty obvious that they’re just jealous. At the moment, Ryan’s work is on show at the high-rise Galerie Perrotin in Hong Kong where it seems to hover, hundreds of storeys up, looking down over the city, so go check it out if you’re in the area.

  12. List

    There’s a simple, iconic power to the work of Magnus Voll Mathiassen whether he’s immortalising Krautrock legends Kraftwerk or sultry pop princess Rihanna with his trademark crisp lines. His reductive approach to image-making means he’s ideally suited to creating bold work for album covers, but to really appreciate his work it’s best to blow it up MASSSIVE. Which is more or less what he’s done for his new show Hybridio in Oslo, enlarging some of his most iconic work to the size of an actually human man so you can appreciate his skill up close. He’s also showing a selection of hand-drawn work and some incredible watercolours, thereby proving that there’s even more strings to his bow than we’d first thought.

  13. List-2

    With the amount of press attention he’s been getting over the last couple of weeks in the run up to his debut exhibition at London’s Howard Griffin Gallery, you’d think photographer Bob Mazzer would be somewhat overwhelmed. This is not the case. Over the past 45 years he’s been taking photographs of the people he meets on the London Underground, but it wasn’t until Spitalfields Life starting posting them on their blog last year that it all kicked off.