The Lumber Room

This week we delighted to blog a post by Jonathan Gibbs, programme director of Illustration at ECA:

Mark Hearld’s exhibition at York Gallery has been The Lumber Room: Unimagined Treasures. This is an extraordinary room full of miscellaneous stored objects and artefacts, all of which are complemented by examples of his own work.

This magazine is the third Random Spectacular publication by by St Jude’s, entitled The Lumber Room in reference to Saki’s short story of that title. Simon Lewin and Mark Hearld have created an eclectic anthology of drawings, photographs, texts and illustrations to cast light upon this story.


My own contribution was to illustrate Saki’s text with a full-page illustration, and eight spot illustration to punctuate the writing. This was done in wood engraving, by making five different coloured prints from a big block, then cutting up the prints and making a registered collage of the bits. You will be able to see all my mistakes in this results. Or perhaps they are not mistakes . . . It was a great privilege to be asked to do this, as I have long admired Saki, whose last words were “put that bloody cigarette out”, just before being killed by a sniper’s bullet in the First World War.

2Jonathan Gibbs

Such collaborations as Random Spectacular bring one into close proximity with like-minded artists and designers, and their various works are beautifully juxtaposed throughout this journal.

Simon Lewin’s highly skilled editorship and design skills have made this possible, to a very high degree.

There are various creative connections within this artefact. Notably, with Stage 2 ECA illustrator Alise Tipse, who shows some very fine drawings here. Chlöe Cheese,  has visited ECA at various times and is an eminent artist, printmaker and illustrator. Likewise, Angie Lewin has lectured here, as indeed have Simon Lewin and Mark Hearld. Together, I believe that they make a powerful case for cross-disciplinary study, in theory and practice.

ECA alumnus Emily Sutton needs no introduction, and I was most fortunate in being able to see her standing in the York Gallery, for several hours, making these finely observed drawings of the glass cases and their contents.

The exhibition and this magazine enhance various fertile connections between the fine and applied arts. Their examples may be discussed from a conceptual or symbolic point of view, as well as their aspects of craft, design, typography and photography.  It has been a truly inspiring process in placing imagery and objects together in an eloquent relationship to literature and visual culture.

3Emily Sutton

4Alise Tipse



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