A few months ago I’d never heard of British printmaker and textile designer Angie Lewin. Now I find her name and her work wherever I look. Well, OK, I spend a lot of time reading English magazines and checking out blogs in the U.K. which might have something to do with it.
From her sense of color to her all-over patterns to her motifs taken from nature, Lewin’s work actually seems more Scandinavian than English — at least to my eye. Her style is instantly recognizable and practically jumps off the page where it’s featured in the September issue of the British edition of County Living.
There, serving as the backdrop to an article called “Designs of the Times,” was one of Lewin’s whimsical flower prints. The article went on to suggest that contemporary designers — like Lewin — are channeling Scandinavian influences from the 50s and 60s, thus reaffirming my first response. Lewin’s textile designs are available from St. Jude’s Modern British Gallery which sums up its approach to design as “Modern. British. Eclectic. And affordable.”
This image from Country Living May 2007 shows some of Lewin’s work along with her Eric Revilious’ Coronation mugs (top shelf, top left image). She’s used the mugs in some of her prints.
Lewin's limited edition linocut and wood engraving prints are “inspired by skeletal plant forms seen against the sea and sky of North Norfolk,” according to St. Jude’s. That’s clear the minute you look at one of them. Lewin has a deft ability to create recognizable plant images while simplifying and refining their structure — not quite to the point of total abstraction. She explores as well as explodes recurring themes like teasels and Queen Anne’s Lace. Her seed pods and stems are strong and sculptural without a hint of sweetness or sentimentality — not always an easy thing to do when the subject is flowers.
“Wild Garden,” a litho by Angie Lewin (above) is no longer available. But you can enjoy it in the gallery on her Web site. Not only is it a strong and successful piece of art but what a sophisticated color sense it exhibits. Imagine it as the starting point for an interior or exterior paint scheme!
Lewin’s “Dandelion One” and “Dandelion Two” prints (above left and right) were among the four nominations for the “Best in Fabric” category in the Elle Decoration Design Awards 2006. Other nominees were Timorous Beasties, Nina Campbell and Eley Kishimoto — very nice company and very nice work by Lewin.
All images from Lewin's Web site or St. Jude's.