Having been invited to exhibit at a new show in Oxford at the O3 Gallery called 'On These Magic Shores', I had the opportunity to take a trip to sunny Oxford and hand over my work personally and meet the team behind the show. Curated by Helen Statham Gallery Director, the exhibition explores contemporary illustration with traditional draftsmanship. The show looks at how artists today still retain a strong sense of story telling and rely heavily on fantasy and imagination, as well as demonstrating fun and quirky compositions and by using timeless anthropomorphic animals.
Nestled at the back of the famous Malmaison Hotel - a former prison, Helen explains the Gallery's unique history as a Day Room for Prisoners up until 1996 where inmates would astonishingly while away the hours indulging in arts and crafts!
The unusual layout of the gallery enables artwork to hang against grey circular stone walls, with viewing taking place as you climb up the spiral steps towards a mezzanine level which houses a boutique shop.
The exhibition title is inspired by a quote from the great children's book classic, J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan, and its intention is to seek out the imagination of the child that is imprisoned in all of us. This is of particular importance to the creative freedom afforded illustrators; I regressed myself this past weekend, by adorning my arms with temporary tattoos provided by Colourbox and the Puck Collective at Pick Me Up London.
'On these magic shores children at play are for ever beaching their coracles. We too have been there; we can still hear the sound of the surf, though we shall land no more' (J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan).
The exhibition opens TONIGHT from 6pm and will be open until 16th June 2013. Other artists exhibiting include: Jo Cheung, Gemma Correll, Phillip J Jones, Isobel Kho, Patrick Laing, Anna Lindsten, Miguel Mansur, Esther McManus, Jamie Mitchell, Julia Pott, Sarah Ray, Rachel Russell, Kris Tate, Yee Ting, Drew Turner, Victoria Whincup, and Asa Wikman.
Opening hours: Tues - Fri 12-5pm, Sat & Sun 11am - 4pm.