It's been a long time since I wrote up an exhibition visit for my blog, which is odd because I've been going to galleries at an insane rate over the last 6 months! On Monday I visited the 'Pick Me Up: Graphic Arts Festival' at Somerset House, which was wonderful for me as a design student. Running for it's 7th year, Pick Me Up showcases the very best movers and shakers rising up in graphic design and illustration. They have some very inspiring work on show so I'd really recommend spending some time exploring it. This year however, Pick Me Up is also hosting a retrospective exhibition of work by one of my personal design heroes, Alan Kitching. 'Alan Kitching: A Life in Letterpress' features over 100 prints, following Kitching's career from apprentice right the way through to the world-renowned designer he is today.
What can I say about this exhibition other than WOW. I'm probably slightly bias since I'm already a huge fan of Alan Kitching's work, typography in general and letterpress, but I think this is set to be one of the design exhibitions of the year. What's even better is that if you can't make it to the capital, the show will be moving on to Snape in Suffolk in June and Glasgow in November. Along with his bold letterpress work, the exhibition includes roughs, proofs and sketchbooks illustrating his process. Not only that, there is even a part of Kitching's studio brought into the gallery! It is a beautiful example of the equipment he uses to create his distinctive work.
While I was at the exhibition, I was also able to pick up a copy of the book accompanying the show. I feel very lucky to have gotten one of the few signed copies! To have an item like that from one of the people who first got me into this thing called 'graphic design' is really special, and I'm sure I will be reading it in many years to come.
I'll apologise in advance for the quality of some of my pictures - I was having one of those crisis moments when you don't know if you're allowed to take photographs in an exhibition, and I'm much too awkward to ask! Here is a small collection of my favourite items from the exhibition...
Pick Me Up: Graphic Arts Festival & Alan Kitching: A Life In Letterpress
Somerset House, London
21st April - 2 May 2016