‘A Place To Gather’ – A look at Irish Craft and Design

This week London is currently awash with design fanatics as the annual London Design Festival takes place. As part of the event the Irish Crafts Council have put together an exhibition that gives a glimpse into modern Irish design and craft. The exhibition is called A Place To Gather and to mark it the directing duo of Jamie & Keith have put together a beautiful video that looks at Irish crafts-people in action around the country.

Ireland currently has over 5,700 people working in craft today and the video gives a brief portrait of just 5 of them. They are Horizon Furniture, Studio Donegal, Kathleen McCormick, Jerpoint Glass and Derek Wilson. One of the nicest things about traditional handicrafts is the process of making them yet it’s this part that we rarely get to see. Fortunately videos like this one really give a great insight into the process and help promote traditions which are well worth continuing and celebrating. It’s a beautifully filmed piece and one which is well worth watching.

For those lucky enough to be in London, A Place To Gather will be running from the 18th until the 23rd of September at 12 Chance Street, London, E2 7JB. More details about the exhibition can be found on their website here.

Philip Kennedy

September 20, 2012 / By

Paintings of City Streets by Andy Beck

Andy Beck 'Hove Promenade'

Andy Beck 'Palmeira Square'

Andy Beck 'Grafton Street Corner'

While Andy Beck may be better known for his portrait and figurative work, it’s his paintings of city streets which really catch my attention. Originally from Coventry, Beck moved to London almost ten years ago and it’s clear that the city has played an important role in inspiring his work.

Looking at his paintings you can almost feel the weather in them. You can sense the cold, crisp air of a winter’s morning or you can see how the sun shines right after the rain. His paintings show a great understanding for how these moments feel in a city and he paints them with such beauty. You can view a complete gallery of Beck’s landscape painting on his website here.

Philip Kennedy

September 19, 2012 / By

Great illustrations by Kali Ciesemier

Kali Ciesemier 'Philly Mag'

Kali Ciesemier 'Pyramid Scheme'

Kali Ciesemier is a talented illustrator! I love her great use of color and she has a fantastic style when it comes to drawing figures. As a freelance illustrator she has worked for a number of impressive clients including The New Yorker, Harper Collins, and The LA Times. On top of that she also works as an adjunct faculty member at the illustration department at The Maryland Institute College of Art. It’s clear to see that anyone studying there right now is in safe hands!

Reading about how she works on Ape on the Moon I was surprised to discover that all her work is drawn digitally. Her lines have such a natural ‘hand drawn’ quality to them that it seems amazing to me that it was all done in Photoshop with a Wacom Tablet. It’s terrific work and I wish I could make my digital drawings look this organic! You can see more of Kali’s work online by visiting her website.

Philip Kennedy

September 18, 2012 / By

Crazy & Beautiful Animated Video from Her Ghost Friend

Whenever we post music-videos on The Fox Is Black we tend to include a few images alongside it to give you an impression of what it’s like but to tell you the truth the images above can’t really prepare you for this strange, childish and utterly brilliant music-video by director Saigo No Sundan.

Animated with a fantastically crude DIY aesthetic, the video prances along at a fanatic pace and it bursts onto the screen with the kind of joyous manic energy you can only get from Japan. It’s an utter joy to watch and it manages to be both surreal and beautiful all at once. The track itself is by the electro-pop unit Her Ghost Friend and its title loosely translates into “After-school Thesaurus”. Watching it is a wonderful way to start the week!

Philip Kennedy

September 17, 2012 / By

Beautiful hand-crafted illustrations by Owen Gildersleeve

Owen Gildersleeve 'Stargazing'

Owen Gildersleeve 'Olympics'

Owen Gildersleeve 'Olympics'

Owen Gildersleeve is an illustrator and designer from London. His work involves a number of techniques with much of his efforts focused on creating beautiful hand-crafted illustration and typography.

I have such respect for this kind of hand-made work. The amount of time and delicacy it requires is unbelievable and Owen does it with such refinement and playfulness. You should also take a look at more of his work by visiting his website – there you’ll find a number of pieces he has created for clients such as Harrods, The Guardian, Rolex and The Royal Mail.

The work above are two of his personal projects. The first is called Stargazing and it’s an illustration inspired by the night sky that references various celestial charts. The second is a piece inspired by the recent London Olympics. Both of these pieces (and more) are available for purchase from the website Many Hands, you can also see more of Owen’s work online here.

Philip Kennedy

September 13, 2012 / By