Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pick Me Up, the UK’s original contemporary graphic arts festival

The fifth edition of the contemporary graphic arts festival showcases and sells affordable work from the great and good of the graphic arts world alongside a daily programme of lively events.

Now in its fifth year, the UK’s original contemporary graphic arts festival Pick Me Up showcases graphic art in all its glorious forms. Aimed at being the antithesis of a traditional art fair, Pick Me Up is a fun and informal festival, showcasing and selling affordable work from the great and good of the graphic arts world alongside a daily programme of lively events. Led by a myriad of names and collectives, from family favourites to fashion big-hitters, the events are designed to appeal to all ages and interests, encouraging everyone to get involved. - London

Edward Carvalho-Monaghan

The Children’s Choice Weekend is back between 3 – 4 May with an incredible line-up of guests. Rastamouse creators Michael de Souza and Genevieve Webster will start the weekend by leading children’s drawing workshops and a reading on 3 May around everyone’s favourite crime fighting, reggae-playing rodent. Judith Kerr will be the guest of honour on 4 May, hosting an ‘in conversation’ event with her art director Ian Craig, in which they will look back at her literary legacy and explain why she chooses to continue working after a lifetime in the industry, with the publication of her new picture book set for later this year. There will also be tiger tea-parties for families and the young at heart running throughout the day. Kerr’s name will be familiar within generations of families after writing and illustrating children’s classics such as the acclaimed Mog series and The Tiger Who Came To Tea. 

A special events programme has been curated to celebrate illustrators at the forefront of a new wave of fashion imagery, hosting one-off events with a sartorial slant throughout the festival. To open proceedings on 24 April, art director and animator Jo Ratcliffe, who drew and directed the animation in Lady Gaga’s ‘Applause’ video, will lead an interactive day of activities, unveiling a giant zoetrope she has designed specially for Pick Me Up. In this cylinder construction festivalgoers can stand inside and view a sequence of Ratcliffe’s images in rapid succession, giving the illusion of motion. 26 April will see fashion illustrator Daisy de Villeneuve, whose funky felt-tip illustrations can be seen everywhere from Topshop to Vogue, as a special guest for a day of drop-in fashion focused fun. Fashion artist and author Jason Brooks, who forged his career drawing couture at fashion shows and designed the identity for record label Hed Kandi, will be running a day of workshops on Saturday 3 May. On 27 April cartoonist Gemma Correll will be running a day inspired by her celebrated portrayals of animals, particularly her Pugs not Drugs portfolio which features on clothes and accessories that have a celebrity fashion following. She will be joined by Pick Me Up Select artist Jessica Das who will lead a workshop on how to draw cute and cheeky cats. 

Music plays its part in the festival with DJs and bands playing on a selected number of late night events from 6-10pm. The first will see band The Coward, led by Nico Jullien with graphics by his brother, the celebrated French observational artist Jean Jullien, on 25 April. As a belated celebration of World Record Day, there will be record sleeve design workshops running on the same day in collaboration with Pick Me Up’s very own radio station brought to the festival by Comms Bureau. Pick Me Up Radio presented by Comms Bureau is new for 2014 and will stream live from Somerset House. With specially invited DJs, interviews and take-over days, festivalgoers will be able to see the radio broadcasts being put together live and listen online remotely. 

A varied events programme will continue throughout the festival: during the Children’s Choice Weekend popular picture book illustrator Chris Haughton, will be reading from his latest children’s book ‘Shh! We Have A Plan’ and creating a mural that children’s and adults alike will be able to add to throughout the day. Graphic artist, print-maker and designer Anthony Burrill, best known for his typographic compositions including the now-famous “Work Hard and Be Nice to People” will be leading a sticker themed drop-in workshop on 25 April. On the final day of the festival author and typographer Paul Felton will lead a day of typographic soul cleansing where attendees can enter a confession booth and add their typographic guilty pleasures to the walls. Running alongside confession will be a series of sermons and the chance to create stained glass typographic masterpieces. An interactive paper guillotine sculpture entitled Paper Cuts by paper cutting artist and designer Mandy Smith will invite people to experience the world’s most recognisable instrument of death, whist photographing the experience as a keepsake. 

Cutting-edge collectives and contemporary graphic art galleries will each curate a customised studio space where they will host events alongside their bountiful body of new and existing work. On 1 May Camberwell Press presents 'Let's Get Quizzical' as a late night event, the Pick Me Up edition of London's premier pub quiz for creative minds. The Puck Collective, an evolving group of illustration collectives, will be building an arsenal of weaponry in card form throughout the festival in preparation for Andy War Wall on 2 May. A unique interactive gaming event of Puck Trumps in which festivalgoers can enter any of the six battle booths every half an hour following an air raid siren. Contestants will pick cards after rolling a giant dice and once all the battle cards are revealed a winner will be announced who will progress to the next round, the winning team will receive a special trophy and crown. An illustrator from Puck will be documenting the battle so that by the end they will have produced a modern tapestry telling the epic story of the battle. In between the league games the public are invited to draw their own top trumps. 

Running throughout the opening weekend will be Blinkink, an animation and moving image showreel showcasing a variety of animation techniques from nine award-winning directors. Included in the programme will be ‘making-of’ films revealing the technique and craftsmanship behind the work. On both the Saturday and Sunday there will also be panel discussions featuring Elliot Dear who directed the infamous John Lewis Christmas commercial ‘The Bear and the Hare’ and renowned designer and director Noah Harris. 

The Majority of events are included with entry admission price to the festival, though there may be an additional charge for the purchase of materials produced at an event. 

About Somerset House 
Somerset House is a spectacular neo-classical building in the heart of London, sitting between the Strand and the River Thames. Since opening to the public in 2000, Somerset House has produced a distinctive public programme that annually draws over 2.5 million visitors to the site, providing a stimulating environment for exploration and relaxation. The varied, year-round programme includes an open air film and concert season and ice rink, as well as temporary exhibitions focusing on contemporary fashion, design, art and architecture, family workshops and free guided tours. Since September 2009, Somerset House has been the new home of London Fashion Week. 

For press and image enquiries, please contact Laura Horton at Somerset House on or 020 7845 4638 

2014 events highlights announced 

· Children’s Choice Weekend with workshops and readings from the Rastamouse creators and ‘in conversation’ with The Tiger Who Came to Tea and Mog writer and illustrator Judith Kerr as well as accompanying tiger themed tea-parties 

· Fashion focused one-off events from illustrators Daisy de Villeneuve, Jo Ratcliffe and Jason Brooks 

· World Record Day celebrations with vinyl sleeve design workshop 

· Late night music and DJs 

Open daily 10am – 6pm, late night Thursdays and Fridays until 10pm 

Tickets now on sale from 

Single entry £10, concessions £8, festival pass £17.50 

Entry price with admission to Judith Kerr ‘In Conversation’ is £15 single and £22.50 unlimited festival entry; tickets are extremely limited and early booking is advisable 

Somerset House 
Embankment Galleries, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA 
Opening Hours: 10am – 6pm Daily. Late night openings on Thursdays and Fridays until 10pm 
Admission: Single entry £10, concessions £8, festival pass £17.50Entry price with admission to Judith Kerr ‘In Conversation’ is £15 single and £22.50 unlimited festival entry; tickets are extremely limited and early booking is advisable 
Transport: Temple, Embankment Charing Cross, Waterloo

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