I’ve been involved with Gumbo Illustration for around six or so years now. It grew up out of Happiness at Work and from the brains of many art college friends. Gumbo is an Illustration collective and from time to time we get together and collaborate on some projects outside of the Illustration realms we find ourselves in day to day. You can see the blog here to get an idea of the stuff we do. Gumbos consist of Chris Andrews, Harriet Russell, Sandra Howgate, Eivind Gulliksen, Samara Andrews and myself.

This year, we’ve been working on a project called Blue Suede Shoes. In essence, it’s a game of pass it on, based on surrealist game. We began with the three word phrase: Blue. Suede. Shoes. Each artist must then change one word and pass the list forward to the next artist. Much of this was played via email.

We got together in the Autumn, ate some Gumbo (which is actually a stew from the deep south) and really honed down the text and tightened it up. Next thing, was to go away and make the images.

So this month, artwork has been finalised, frames have been brought and after much smoke from our computers, i’m happy to say, the files have saved and our prints are on order.

We’ve recently made a new contact with Duke Press an independent Publisher. They have agreed to publish our book as a special edition of 100 with a screen printed cover. The show will be hung next week at The Arts Depot. The Private view next week will coincide with the launch of the book, which if i do say so myself, is looking AMAZING.

Us Gumbos and Duke Press have a day planned at the weekend, stitching and binding our new book. Jess from Duke Press will be screen printing the cover this week. So serious production lines will be formed, hopefully with minimal casualties and definitely maximum cups of tea, possibly leading to beers later..

Blue Suede Shoes runs from the 4th March to the 1st May 2011. Private View is on the 3rd. 6.30-8pm. Invites are winging thier way through the ether as we speak!

My thanks to Alice at The Arts Depot, Ryan and Jess at Duke Press for all your help. And to Chris, Samara, Sandra, Eiv and Hazza. Stirling work as always. Thank you.

Blue Suede Shoes

Friday 4th March 2011 – Sunday 1st May 2011 at Arts Depot,  5 Nether Street, Tally Ho Corner, North Finchley, London N12 0GA.

See you there!