I don’t think any Bookshelf has brought me as much joy as this one by Tom Edwards. A long-standing favourite illustrator of It’s Nice That, Tom once walked on his knees across the office floor to shake hands with someone, which was really funny. Seriously though, Tom is one of the best illustrators in London, and he is also holds the crown of being one of the capital’s biggest medieval enthusiasts, letting his passions creep into the Bruegel crossed with Beano drawings that make up his body of work. You can see some of his exciting new work exhibited at Pick Me Up next week.
James Fairbairn: Heraldic Crests
I LOVE this book. 4,424 designs compiled under one cover taken directly from heraldry. If I’m stuck for something to draw I just flip through this and something will catch my eye. This is the book I use the most for inspiration. Its a Dover Images book, the shop in Seven Dials recently shut down which is sad : (
Ian Mortimer: Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England & Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England
If, like me, you want to know what it might have been like to live in Medieval and Elizabethan England then this is probably a good place to start. Obviously nobody will ever know what its really like (maybe Medieval re-enactors do) but Ian Mortimer certainly has a good stab at telling us, taking you through the landscapes, what people were like, what to wear, where to stay and what to do so if you ever do time travel you’d be well prepared with these.
V. Pritchard: English Medieval Graffiti
Who knew that Medieval people had graffiti?(Maybe Ian Mortimer should have?) Anyway, I like the thought that the images scratched into stonework of churches and cathedrals are probably the only thing that that particular person has left behind, it gives a real connection to the past if you see one in real life. Especially when you stop to think that somebody stood in the same spot, hundreds of years ago, and took time to carve a pattern or motif into the stonework.
Keith Roberts: Bruegel
I always bang on about Pieter Bruegel, but his paintings are just great. I could look at them for hours and still find new things. I like that he used to dress up as a farmer and go and hang out with the people he put in his paintings. One day I will go on a “pilgrimage” to Vienna to see his paintings in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, but until then I guess this book will have to do.
Jeremy Deller & Alan Kane: Folk Archive, Contemporary Popular Art from the UK
This book follows nicely on from Bruegel as, like his paintings, it features people from everyday life. I think it accompanied an exhibition which, sadly, I never saw. The book is a medley of Images put together by Deller and Kane, as it says on the cover it is a ‘celebration of the creative life of Britain’, from crop circles to mechanical elephants to hand made banners by Ed Hall.