Titled AHOY! and inspired by the 200th anniversary of the disappearance of the USS Wasp in the Bermuda Triangle, the exhibition showcased the diverse talents of a carefully selected line-up of emerging and established illustrators – among them Middlesex graduates and lecturers, as well as other invited artists.
The nautical-inspired brief proved the perfect platform for exploring a range of materials and styles – from pencil sketches to paper cut collages, digital prints to oil and watercolours. Abigail Moulder hand-painted a set of antique wooden oars to accompany her 'Jonah' lino print. Guest artist Harlotvoncharlotte's fineliner sketches were displayed alongside three-dimensional miniatures fashioned out of Super Sculpey moulding clay.
The Drawn Chorus Collective was established by 19 graduates of Middlesex's Illustration course as a means of staying in touch and keeping alive the collaborative spirit of the university studios.
"It's really exciting to see what everyone's up to," said Alex Moore, a Drawn Chorus founding member, who showcased her pencil sketches and digital prints as part of the show. "Once you leave the studio, you don't get quite as many opportunities to be surrounded by art so much, and if you're freelancing it's just you working alone in a room."
"Illustration is so insular," says Abigail Moulder, fellow Middlesex alumna and Drawn Chorus founding member. "You're in your own little world. It's quite nice to be able to break out of it!"
AHOY! was the third in a series of group shows by the Drawn Chorus Collective; previous exhibitions have embraced a circus theme and celebrated the work of Lewis Carroll. Ideas for the Collective's next exhibition are already taking shape and a maritime-inspired graphic novel is also in the works, featuring work by a selected line up of Drawn Chorus members and friends, to be published in early November.
To find out more about the Drawn Chorus Collective, who's involved and what's coming up, visit their website.