Unity House is one of the last surviving derelict Victorian buildings in Birmingham. I've been commissioned alongside Vicky Newman and Louise Brangwin to decorate and adorn this beautiful building with illustrations for the Eye Candy Festival. The Eye Candy Festival is a celebration of visual pop culture; where invited exhibitors, speakers and designers from across the globe showcase their illustration, art and design through a program of events, talks and workshops.
Eye Candy Festival is in it's second year and opens on 31st October until 3rd November 2013.
Unity House. Image courtesy of the Urban Snapper.
We're really pleased and proud to be involved in this years festival and decided early on our illustrations should do justice to the building, telling the story of Unity House and her varied past. Creating a female character that sits central to the narrative sharing and displaying her love affairs and memories over time. We hoped this would not only be relevant to the building and its history but call to mind her future.
Unity House is locally listed Grade B and has been photographed, blogged about and has been at the centre of debate and scepticism surrounding the delay in her restoration/renovation. Researching her history we discovered the building had a varied past including:
- The Rose & Crown Pub (1800's)
- Shapero, a wholesalers of tailors trimmings, trouser pocket material and tape measures owned by Mr Shapero (1950s)
- Metalworkers Unions and the Society of Lithographers, Designers and Engravers used the building in the (1980s)
Vicky Newman (top image)
Vicky Newman is a freelance contemporary illustrator specialising in drawing,screen printing and generally getting her fingers inky. Her work has been used on a variety of different media from print to product and she has worked for clients across the globe. She loves 2b propelling pencils (8b for shadows) French toast, old playing cards and New York City.
Louise Brangwin (centre image)
Louise’s illustrations use a mixture of traditional printmaking techniques and line drawings. She often uses digital tools and techniques for collage; using found items for their unique textures and patterns, to blend with her drawings. Louise recently set up ‘The Original Bazaar’ to sell her handcrafted jewellery and screen prints. Louise’s current favourite media is an inky fineliner and watery brush.
Installation is planned for Thursday 31st October to coincide with the launch of Eye Candy Festival, after which we'll be revealing the entire collection of work. Until then keep an eye on the Eye Candy Festival website for updates.
Update 31st October
Our illustrated panels are up and displayed loud and proud. We're hanging next to the hugely talented Marguerite Sauvage whose work I absolutely adore.
Where is Unity House?
Situated on the corner of Bromsgrove Street, Birmingham. Follow the map to find Unity House to discover her secrets.
Watch the official Eye Candy Festival video below.
Let me know if you've seen the panels I'd love to know what you think.