Steph Carr

Steph Carr is a contemporary fine artist, who has just finished her degree at Sheffield Hallam University. Her work is both wonderfully conceptual and thought provoking, whilst still being beautifully executed. Her latest work is intricate and visually stunning, adding depth to the ideas behind each piece. In a time where contemporary artists are common, it’s rare to fine one with so much thought behind each piece, whilst still maintaining quality and visual effect. This is something that makes Steph special, and I urge you to see more of her. Here’s what she had to say:

Tell me about yourself as an artist

I’ve just graduated from BA Hons Contemporary Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University. I work with everyday domestic materials, commonly found and used in the home currently to create objects that change themselves from waste material to objects of desire that you want to return to the home. I have a fascination for that transformation stage, the moment something changes from rubbish to some form of spectacle, offering a new way of looking. Being hands on is really important for me, in everything I do I aim for the materials to remain honest and for there to be signs of the objects being handmade. Taking inspiration from the in between moments in our everyday lives, materials show themselves be it a pile of used teabags or discarded material the textures and colours found in these objects is what I take away to make something new. My work has a deep routed focus on perception of beauty and I aim to create things that we actively want in our homes and lives.

What are the influences and inspirations behind your latest works?

My latest work seen in my degree show ‘The Discarded Made Tangible (Sweepings)’ was a creation of wallpaper. We drink hundreds of cups of tea within the home each month and the overriding waste was impossible to ignore. I began collecting the used teabags and in the drying out process placed them onto paper, the pattern and colour left on the paper by the bag was so beautiful I took this and created a wallpaper design. After a battle trying to reproduce the pattern by hand on the paper it became clear a digital aid was needed so I used a combination of Photoshop help to create the design and hands on approach by screen-printing the design by hand on to lining paper. For the purpose of the degree show it was important for me to offer clues to the viewer as to what materials had been used, so I matched the pigments as closely as possible to a tea staining. There are many references that flood into this work; the main points are the amount we use and waste in our homes and also the possibilities of those waste materials. I feel that the use of tea offers many links dependant on the viewer; some have referenced the similarities to Victorian wallpapers and the importance of the tea trade in that period, some have noticed similarities to the Rorschach inkblot test that uses pareidolia (seeing things in abstract inkblot images) in an attempt to gain insight into a person’s mental state. For me, I want the viewer to feel they want to remove the piece from the gallery space and return it to the home, where the material was collected and used.

As a young artist, have you found it difficult to establish your own style?

I think for any artist the pressure to find ‘a style’ is always the black sheep in the room. For me, going through the motions of university has been the best way to find out what I am interested in and how I want to progress with my work. It seems to have come from nowhere really, but when you think about the amount of information you soak up being surrounded by other artists in the form of tutors, outside professionals and peers it all contributes to your way of working and thinking. In my final year something seemed to change, a focusing of ideas (maybe the pressure of the degree show contributed!) and putting a piece of work in to the gallery space as your final university piece spurs you on to push yourself. There are some amazing opportunities for creative in this country and I find inspiration in all media’s and areas, the main thing I would say to any young artist is to just keep going! Wherever you go and whatever you see you take something with you and all of these aspects come together to form your ‘style’. I am still learning and growing as I think every artist does and with every piece I make there is more that I would like to do to it and new ideas that arise from putting a realised work in to a space.

What are your thoughts on the British Art scene of today?

Some of my greatest inspirations have been from British artists; I find the work of artists like Deborah Bowness ( so beautiful and they push me in my own mind and practice to keep going with an idea and to keep perfecting it. Bowness takes everyday objects such as lamps or chairs and uses photographs of them to create wallpaper, this can completely transform a space and offers solutions for those with little space in the home. She has also got a very interesting project on the go ‘The Paper Trail’ that takes disused spaces on our streets and papers them, drawing attention not only to her work but to the tragedy of our British high street where shops are closing down every day and spaces are being wasted. There are so many inspirational artists around and they keep emerging as more and more creative arise from schools, universities and colleges. Another huge inspiration for me is Timorous Beasties, their mainly hand-printed wallpapers and designs are so grand and beautiful, they are well known for their contemporary take on the traditional ‘Toile De Jouy’ pattern of Napoleonic France however they recreate scenes in a similar style of modern cities.

What can we expect to see from you in future?

I’m not too sure what the future holds! I am interested in many mediums including illustration photography and craft so I hope to always be involved in something creative. In an ideal world I would love to continue working on designs for wallpapers, fabrics and other aspects of the home however I am not sure how this would be possible currently! I will always be a creative person and in one way or another I know this passion will filter through to all aspects of my life. If nothing else, I just hope to offer some form of inspiration to those who see my work. In a society where we have no focus on what we use or waste, as it is so readily available to us, I hope to elevate the potential of what is in front of us to a position of significance.


To find out more about this young artist and her work, contact her via her email:


Introducing emerging artists: Marco Pereira




Marco Pereira (b.1981) is a Portuguese photo artist based in London with a background in engineering and psychology finalised an MA in Photography from London college of Communication. He is currently working as commercial photographer and associate lecturer.


Beside exhibiting his work in UK, Norway and Portugal Marco has recently participated in a artist residency in a Portuguese convent where he worked on the Meditations series. He is also working in  a 3 year project working with a star trek inspired fan based group


Mediations were a series of ritual like performances while doing a residency in a old convent south of Portugal. Working between fact and fiction, real and fantasy. He has the desire to be convinced about his and others existence, of a hidden world a link between the existing reality and the possibility of another triggered by processes of deformation and formation.



Newark Park – 6th July to 18th  August and at  Cheltenham Gallery – 12th October to 6th November






Brock Davis

“Make work that people want to talk about and have fun doing it.” Take a moment and question how many of us would eat a banana, and instead of throwing away the skin, think that it could be turned into a piece of art? And how many of us picture a muscle car, a toy muscle car, ramping into the air, over a piece of cake? Well ‘Tumblr’ sensation Brock Davis is doing an impressive job of finding creativity in uncreative places; and in doing so, has aquired a whole host of followers and built an impressive client list. All from simply making a few clever observations, and realising his sometimes weird & wonderful ideas.

Based in Minneapolis, the photographer / designer / modelmaker / everything-else’s twists on the everyday, ranging from a ‘Cucumber Killer Whale’ to a ‘Cauliflower Treehouse’ have caught the eye of hundreds of thousands and set a trend for a generation of low-fi artists. It’s the kind of craft that makes you sit back and think ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’

The lack of text in his work and pure dependance on image allows the work to be appreciated by any age group; and without language barriers, the work has a universal appeal, which could contribute to his world wide web success. The intuition and craft of Brock Davis really must be applauded. His specialty lies in making the small big and the missable unmissable, but simultaneously the work is comical. Something so realistic and accessible as is the medium of food allows us to relate to the work and understand it instantaneously. It’s good clean fun at it’s best.



Lisan Ly

“It could be autumn leaves in a park, reflections in a lake or walking past a skyscraper. I believe beauty can exist anywhere, when you look.” The unmissable Lisan Ly and her global explorations are the foundation for similarly global ambitions. Flying the flag – or should I say flying her scarf designs – proudly in the air for all to see. One would perhaps need an atlas to explain the sources of inspiration behind the beauteous creations of the British born designer. Malaysia and Thailand are a few of the many pins in her map.

Lisan painted a picture for me, describing how ‘temple tiles, vibrant florals and beautiful insects’ played a role in shaping her explosive colour pallete. Chinese and Vietnamese heritage are another ingredient confidently stitched into the surfaces designs of the London College of Communication graduate, who makes reference to England’s Kew Gardens and Japanese kimonos as research points for the delicately balanced designs of her impressive debut October 2012 collection. “I absolutely love travelling and try to see as much of the world as I can. It’s an amazing source of creative inspiration.”

Lisan’s work displays a considerable level of technical excellence, perhaps stemming from previous studies at Kingston University; not in design, but computing. To this day innovative techniques and quality craftsmanship such as (deep breath) hand illustration, computer aided design, screen printing, pattern cutting, laser cutting and embroidery, all contribute to the elegance. Much labour and attention to detail has been woven into the fibres of this ‘wearable art.’ There is certainly much more than meets the eye.

Making reference to two of my favorite words – ‘organized chaos’, Lisan explains how her creations “aim to reflect beauty in the world and embody the simple pleasures in life” and I think she is successful in her intentions. Her luxurious but playful designs breath a level of sophistication that would make a perfect gift for the perfect woman. Lisan has great admiration for the likes of Alexander McQueen, Yohji yamamoto, Elie Saab and the prints of Basso & Brooke, Erdem and Peter Pilotto – but keep your eye on the catwalks, and listen out for the alliterate brand name – ‘Lisan Ly’ that will hopefully one day stand alongside the work of such well-known designers.

Introducing emerging artists: Pablo Antolí




Pablo Antolí is a London-based Mexican photographer and filmmaker interested in the creative tensions between the documentary and constructed image. Working across different formats, his work explores the themes of history, memory, and identity. He obtained a Master in Photography from the London College of Communication and since then he has been working on personal and commissioned projects in Europe and Mexico. Alongside to his image-maker practice, Pablo Antolí has also lectured and delivered workshops on photography and moving image.

Introducing emerging artists: Pablo Antolí


His Bachelors Degree dissertation, The Multimedia Photographic Documentary: An Investigation into How the Application of Semiotics and Design for New Media Can Repurpose a Photographic Documentary, has been published by Verlag Dr. Müller and he is contributor and photography editor at Los Hijos de la Malinche


Pablo Antolí is now working  in a series of photographs that explore the interstitial urban space where Our Lady of Guadalupe shrines inhabit. The Urban Guadalupe project proposes the creation of an artist’s book consisting of a collection of photographs of Our Lady of Guadalupe in an Mexican urban context. Guadalupanas images in various forms inhabit interstitial spaces between public and private. The documentation of these virgins is motivated by the symbolic and historic importance of the Our Lady of Guadalupe as an image.



Introducing emerging artists: Simone Padelli




Born in 1986, Simone Padelli, is an Italian photographer and artist. After his graduation from “Libera Accademia delle Belle Arti” of Florence in 2010, he became close to fashion photography working at Gucci in Florence. One year later, he decided to moved to London where he took a Master’s Degree at the London College of Communication in December. Now he works as a freelance photographer mainly fashion, architecture and design fields. He is collaborating with “LineaShow” photographic studio in Prato and he is about to create a CoWorking space in Florence together with other young professionals, photographers, designers and photo retouchers.


Beside his professional experiences, Simone’s work has been published in Harpes Bazaar magazine, and displayed in several solo and group exhibitions in UK and Italy. He developed different series of photographs  around the concept of “Sublime” in contemporary visual art, and the role of the “aesthetic experience  “.


In his pieces Simone researches the understanding of Art in the world.

Art is in the world. It is the skill to give shape to a concept. It is the puzzling experience that can transform reality into a metaphor.
It is a mixture of intuition and research of the artist, which facilitates the viewer to look  beyond the first glance.
Is a manifestation of beauty? Is art a manifestation of truth?
Surely, throughout history, art has been capable of creating a pleasurable experience even if it is revealing the terrible side of human nature; which is not a manifestation of beauty, but is dimly a representation of the sublime


Simone Padelli MAP 12


Sylvia Moritz

Sylvia Moritz has never strayed from artistic disciplines, having studied Graphic Communication from an early age at Die Graphische in Vienna. Encouraged by her college tutors to cross borders, the multi-media artist and designer flew the nest at 19 en route to America. Here she discovered a lot about herself and her discipline, studying Illustration in Boston, and partaking in a six-month printmaking course in San Francisco.

On the back of a range of practical and industrial skills acquired from her travels, Sylvia enrolled at the University of the Arts London. In 2012, she found herself back in America on an erasmus exchange programme, this time showing The Big Apple what she was made of, in a six-month intensive at The Parsons New School for Design. She made the most of state of the art facilities, gaining advanced knowledge in branding and packaging design from peers such as Lance Wyman (Mexico ’68) as well as honing her illustrative expertise, mentored by reportage fanatic Veronica Lawlor.

The Austrian is an advocate of both the use of traditional and digital techniques that work hand-in-hand with one another, and such an ideal is conveyed in a lot of her work. Observations of Moritz’s surroundings play a vital role in shaping the direction of her practice. Usually with underlying environmentalist attitudes, her stunning mark-making qualities display a meticulous attention to detail and an enviable dedication to the creative arts. She continues to develop her style and relentlessly pushes herself to improve with every project she participates in. And the hard work has paid off, recently winning a Best of Year award with the D&AD for a project with the V&A.

Sylvia must be congratulated on her immaculate level of craft, her delicately balanced tone and liberating colour combinations. In the main image we capture an insight into her exotic amalgamation of geometric elements that satisfy the eye hypnotically – a feat of technical excellence comparable to that of the late and respected Escher. One can only hope that Sylvia continues to lead us on inspiring journeys through her labyrinthian creations. I have full confidence that she will.




Introducing emerging artists: Sonja Trabandt




Introducing emerging artists: Sonja Trabandt

Sonja Trabandt is german artist based in Berlin Germany. She was an honors student in Photo Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam, Germany. Trabandt honed her skills working in documentary, portraiture, and fine art photography in Berlin, Cape Town, New York, and London. With the help of a scholarship from the DAAD, she attended the University of the Arts in London, graduating in 2012 with a Masters Degree in Photography



Her photographs have been exhibited in Berlin, Potsdam, Cape Town, New York and London. She was accepted for the very renomated scholarschip from the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) and currently published her book Unverbunden with works from 2005-2012 with einer-books in London. Her work was also published in Das Magazin, Monopol, Prestel/Randomhouse and Tokion Magazine New York.


Through her work, she examines the strengths and weaknesses of human nature. By looking beyond a person’s up-bringing, beyond his or her cultural and social influences, she is able to depict the deeper motivations that make individuals who and what they are. In Sweet Rebellion she explores the joy of violence in contemporary capitalist democracies. What Trabandt wants to understand is the strange fascination with sweet rebellion.


 Sonja Trabandt has just published an artist editon of her book Unverbunden with einer-books

Sonja is also exhibiting this weekend (15th June) at ARTCONNECT
48 Stunden Neukölln
Boddinstraße 62
12053 Berlin


Sonja Trabandt MAP 12

Metro Land Exhibition

Poppy Cole

Poppy Cole is a young illustrator with a beautiful style that will have you falling in love with her work at first sight. Her fabulous use of collage creates a whimsical character and depth to all of her work. Fresh out of Norwich University of Arts, Poppy is  one talent you’ll soon be seeing much more of. Here’s what she had to say:

Could you tell me a little bit about you and your work?

I’ve been studying illustration in Norwich for the last three years and I’ve been drawing ever since I can remember. My work is collaged using paper and other materials that I obsessively collect and gather from wherever I happen to find it. Collaging is at the back of my mind constantly – I can’t walk past a leaflet without wondering whether it might make good collage material. I tend to sketch an image out first and then collage on top of the drawing – the sketching is just as enjoyable for me and means I can collage on top of observational/location drawings. It’s intricate and delicate work (and I get through a lot of glue) but there’s nothing quite like finding the perfect textured paper for an image.
My illustrations are often influenced by my surroundings. I love drawing on location and Norwich has been a beautiful city to study art in, so much of my recent work has focused on capturing that beauty and encouraging others to see it too.

What inspires you as an illustrator?

Other illustrators! There are so many amazing artists working at the moment that it is impossible not to be inspired by them. Some of my favourites are Andrew Bannecker, Helen Hallows, Jon Klassen and Tom Gauld but the list really is endless.

I am also inspired by my environment, as I mentioned above, and I find that simply going for a walk in a direction I haven’t been before or visiting a town I’ve never seen can inspire me in unlikely ways. Illustrators unfortunately have to spend a lot of their time at the same desk in the same room and this can be really stifling so I find it really helps to take breaks and try working in different places.

Golas campaign is called born in Britain. What do you think about the British art and design scene today?

I think actually it’s really great and we’re very lucky. We have such a fantastic array of galleries in Britain and with exhibitions like Images 36 that showcase amazing British illustration in beautiful venues like Somerset House, the art and design scene is really flourishing.

Some amazing illustrators have come out of Britain in recent years (Rob Ryan, Gemma Correll, Tom Gauld) and there are a lot of fantastic art schools in Britain producing new and exciting talent every single year. It’s really helping the art scene to develop into something we can be really proud of. And I think it is apparent that we are proud of it too, with the amount of creative-based businesses that are popping up in London, Norwich and other areas of the country. People are finding new ways to work creatively now – in the current economic climate, artists and designers are creating new and innovative jobs for themselves.

Do you have any advice for young illustrators who are just starting out and are trying to develop their own style?

It’s actually a really difficult thing to do and it was something I struggled with for a long time. I think it’s important whether you are at art school or not to take some time to experiment with absolutely everything and whether you love it, hate it, can’t do it or think it’s a waste of time, at least you can say you’ve tried it.
Ultimately, for me, it came down to realising what felt like the most natural way of working. I’ve never found illustration an easy thing to do – except when I collage. It felt natural and it made successful work and those were the two main things for me.

My advice would be to be patient, to get feedback as often as you can and to look at other artists and techniques for inspiration.

Finally, where might you be in a few years time?

In a few years time I hope to be hunched over my desk, still gluing tiny pieces of paper to slightly larger pieces of paper. I hope I will always be an illustrator.

To see more of Poppy and her beautiful illustrations then head over to her website, or why not tweet her? I’m sure you’ll love her work as much as  I do.


Twitter: @poppyccole

Joss Ryan

“I enjoyed listening to the music that made me want to run upstairs and lay some ideas down.” Joss Ryan explains to me how a wide variety of musical influences at a young age have helped him grow into a self-taught musician. But for the East London DJ and Producer, there was always more on the musical horizon, and his explorations through sound have given him a more refined set of influences. Jazz, Grime, and Soul have played integral roles in shaping Ryan, and it shows in his latest E.P. entitled ‘Blaze Blu’ (Relseased on DVA music).

It’s difficult to categorise the music into a genre, and for good reason. Ryan’s studies of Audio Engineering at the London School of Sound, combined with his five years of production experience have allowed him to conjure a natural ability to intertwine contrasting genres and triumph where others fail in making it sound balanced and effective. In ‘Modesty’ thick Jazz brass introduces a progressive instrumental that evolves into a melodic synth-fest, complete with shuffling piano a soaring string crescendo. Undertones of modern oriental vibe are also apparent, perhaps a throwback to Ryan’s passion for orchestral music in video games such as the Final Fantasy series.

Ryan makes no secret of his desire to develop a sound he “can call his own”, he is constantly reinventing himself to stay fresh. Noting the limitations of playing at clubs, Ryan treads through the dense wilderness of the world of music to discover instruments that he carries with him through all of his productions, gradually scultping a DNA pattern that formulates his sound. ‘Blaze Blu’s’ title track, with it’s anticipatory bellow and pulsating brass, boldly embodies Joss Ryan’s intention to not just push the boundaries, but to attempt to draw new boundaries of his own. “I think to play at a festival like outlook or dimensions is the dream right now, and to develop a ‘live show’ to perform.” Having played at Cable and clubs in the Dalston/Shoreditch area, fans of experimental electronica would be wise to listen out for this highly ambitious artist. 

Listen to his music on soundcloud here

Photography by Jamie Kendrick

Emma Jacobs

“I’m in love with processes, techniques and finishes, and hopefully try to execute all the work in a sophisticated way.” Emma Jacobs invites me into the tactile world of textile design, sharing her projects and an insight into their production. Home & Away (Image 1) is a collection of eight head-masks. Described by Jacobs as “beautiful and strange” these pieces are created using ceramic. Despite being an “alien” choice of material for the Chelsea College of Art & Design student, Jacobs summer research of caves in Ireland had “Unearthly” qualities that she felt would translate well to ceramic.

“The fact that I knew very little about this type of practice, helped to create something unusual and experimental. I have found that often the best pieces of work are the spontaneous ones, and sometimes having an outcome in your head can stop you from experimenting, and experimenting was exactly what I wanted to achieve in this project.”

Flexibility & Connections (Images 2 + 3) came into being after researching numerous materials, colour palettes, surfaces and textures, all with the idea of upcycling and sustainability in mind. After dismantling found car seats from a scrapyard, Jacobs discovered “great shapes” that formed the basis for a garment. “The material in parts already had some beautiful naturally occuring features, like sun bleaching and wear and tear from use … I tried out a lot of different spraying techniques onto the material, foiling techniques, engraving  and embroidery, all the help give the material texture.” Despite working with peculiar materials, Jacobs manages to refine the objects into elegant and very ornate objects, that are a treat to the eye.

Jacobs talks highly of mixed-media book maker Anselm Keifer as an inspiration of hers, but she also references her upbringing in South East Kent as a big influence on her practice. It’s clear her father’s occupation as a builder has informed her robust choice of materials, whilst her fascination with wild animals stems from the rural surroundings. “I love Polly Morgans work, a modern day taxidermist who does the most bizare things with birds and mice and foxes. It is actually somthing that I would really love to try myself very soon.” 

Emma aims to take her work to new heights with intentions to collaborate with a design team specialising in one off couture garments, or jewellery, with ambitions to even crossover into interiors, textiles for furniture, and sculpture.

Ximena Escobar – Silk Scarves

Ximena Escobar grew up in the valley city of Medellin, Colombia. An almost magical part of the country surrounded by mountains and mist, as well as a rich tropical biodiversity, all of which having a large influence on her vibrant colour palette and style. “Nature to me, means life, the living, the wild, the organic and fertile. It gives me joy, inspires my curiosity and nurtures my femininity and self discovery.”

Drawn to colours and shapes at an early age, she fell in love with London, and Escobar began her professional creative life surprisingly as a graphic designer. Escobar gradually realised a way to apply her designs to different textiles, to help enhance her expressive illustrative style. “I am interested in challenging illustration with different materials and applying narratives to the repeat pattern.” She arrived at CSM to help realise these ambitions.

Ximena’s main inspiration is the relationship between women and nature. She worked on numerous illustrative projects for over six years, before returning for a masters at Camberwell College of Art, University of the Arts, London, in illustration – to “add story” to her designs.

She has a cross-over of ideals. Her main passions are coupled together under the word – Ecofeminism. Which is the combination of two themes, women, and nature. With an great grandmother who was a passionate orchid collector, the influences are crystal clear in her work. Ximena Escobar is constantly working with new materials, currently creating designs for t-shirts. She will like to soon work on a bigger scale, collaborate with others, and also has solo exhibitions planned in July & November.

“A perfect day here would be to wake up and have breakfast on the balcony with my boyfriend and the cats, then go to the studio and work for while, have coffee or a drink with friends- colleagues and then go out to my favourite bar”.