Legendary British designer Anthony Burrill is taking residency in the Somerset House Open Studio as part of Pick Me Up, the UK’s first and foremost contemporary graphic art fair. As part of his ten day residency, Anthony will be inviting long-time collaborators such as Wilfrid Wood and Emily Forgot to produce new work from a variety of different mediums. ARTS THREAD was privileged enough to ask Anthony a few questions during his busy schedule.
AT: How are the preparations going for the Open Studio at Pick Me Up?
Anthony Burrill: Everything is going well; all the artwork is almost ready for the opening night next Wednesday. I’ve made lots of new work, and revived some very old work.
AT: You’ve collaborated with Michael Marriott on a furniture project – how did this come about?
AB: Michael and I have worked on exhibitions and projects in the past, it was a natural development to make some bespoke furniture for my temporary studio. We’ve screen-printed on to ply wood, which we will use to make the furniture. It is all very simple and geometric; I’m looking forward to seeing how it all comes together.
AT: Everywhere has produced interactive iPad software using your graphics – how do you see new innovations such as the iPad and Kindle influencing typography in the future?
AB: Each new bit of technology that becomes available will help everything develop and change. I’ve always been interested in using new technology to make my work – even though the outcome can look quite traditional, it’s exciting to play with something new and see how you can make new work with it.
AT: You’re well known for your ‘Think of your own ideas’ slogan, which ironically has been appropriated by other designers across the world. With all the stories in the news at the moment surrounding plagiarism it seems even more poignant. What are your thoughts on these current revelations?
AB: Plagiarism is never good, it’s a shame when people take somebody’s work and claim it for themselves. It’s OK to be influenced by great work, I have many influences that I draw upon, but it really isn’t good to steal ideas, you always get found out!
AT: Newcomers within the sphere of Graphic Design – who you are particularly inspired by at the moment?
I’m always excited to see new work by emerging artists. I’m collaborating with some of my favorites as part of my residency – Emily Forgot, Ian Stevenson, Melvin Galapon and Jack Featherstone. It will be fun to work with them and make new work.
Image credits left to right: Anthony Burrill, Make Your Mark, 2010, Woodblock print, 20×30 inches, Copyright: the artist; Anthony Burrill, Landscape, 2010, Limited edition giclée print, Published by Outline Editions, 59 x 84 cm – 2010, Copyright: the artist; Anthony Burrill, Sunset Over Waves, 2010, Limited edition giclée print, Copyright: the artist.