‘Pick Me Up’, the UK’s first annual contemporary graphic art fair and festival, celebrating graphic arts in all its forms, returns to Somerset House again this Spring (22 March to 1 April 2012). It showcases some of the very best illustrators, graphic novelists, cartoonists, and graphic designers from around the UK including A Two Pipe Problem, Soho Warriors Football Club, Nelly Duff, SOMA, Many Hands, Print Club London, Puck Studio, Peepshow, People of Print, Landfill Editions, YCN, Ship of Fools, Beach London and Catchejack.
This selection of the most exciting graphic art collectives and galleries have been invited to occupy Somerset House’s Embankment Galleries to create unique spaces and installations, including Nelly Duff, the London gallery which represents (among others) Barack Obama’s favourite street artist Ben Eine, and the fine line drawings of Jessica Albarn, sister to Blur’s Damon Albarn.
The fair offers the opportunity to meet the artists, watch them work and get involved, with a lively events programme ranging from a children’s illustration weekend to a portrait booth with Guardian regulars Modern Toss, workshops on comics and cartooning from Pick Me Up favourites NoBrow and SelfMadeHero and a Paper Toy Workshop with Creative Review magazine. New this year will be a space dedicated to workshops, live music, spoken word and live drawing with a bar open every evening.
This year, Pick Me Up’s artists in residence has been the London based illustration collective Peepshow, who will present their Museum of Objects and Origins and invite a roster of special guests, as well as running workshops throughout the fair.
Also part of the fair is Pick Me Up Selects, an exhibition of 20 specially selected international rising stars of the graphic arts world including Riikka Sormunen, Mimi Leung and Zim and Zou. Each will be producing new, exclusive work to see and buy.
As well as providing a platform for emerging talent, Daily Specials has brought the finest names in illustration to the heart of the gallery on a daily basis including legendary graphic artist George Hardie, who was responsible for many cult 60s and 70s album covers such as Led Zepplin’s debut and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon. Other guests will include Mr Bingo, character designer James Jarvis, children’s book illustrators Bruce Ingman and Marion Deuchars, who will run her Art Factory workshop for families at the fair.
Other highlights include East London based gallery Nelly Duff’s pop-up zoo of animal characters made from a jungle of newly commissioned prints and independent publishing champions Beach London’s selection of prints and range of limited edition and small-press artists’ books and zines displayed in a vintage library setting. There are also international contributions from Netherlands gallery Ship of Fools and Spanish duo Cachetejack, as well as a special focus on talent from the South West of England from SOMA gallery and Scrumping with Puck Studio.
Pick Me Up
Opening hours: 22 March – 1 April 2012, daily from 11.00 to 20.00
Address: Somerset House, Embankment Galleries, Strand, London WC2R 1LA
Tel: +44 (0)20 7845 4600 www.somersethouse.org.uk
Admission: one day ticket £8, concessions £6, multiple entry pass (valid 22 March – 1 April not including talks in the screening room) £12