This week I got the chance to travel down to London to see my illustration exhibited at London Transport Museum as part of the Association of Illustrators Poster Prize for Illustration 2019 (London Stories). Ive been lucky enough to take part in this exhibition in previous years, its always a pleasure to be alongside so many talented illustrators in such a prestigious location. Been able to see the variety of styles and approaches to the brief each illustrator takes is always intriguing and I always find myself oohing and ahhing over particular details looking around the exhibition.
Once again this years brief London Stories was a great opportunity to delve into everything there is about London. My take on this yeas brief was to highlight the extraordinary history behind one of Londons most unique landmarks. Cleopatras Needle is an ancient Egyptian obelisk gifted to the British government in 1819 to commemorate the Battle of the Nile and the Battle of Alexandria. Despite the name it was made for Pharaoh Thomas III around 1460 BC and is part of a pair of obelisks the other of which is on display at New Yorks Central Park. During its transportation in 1877 the obelisk was lost in a storm, a rescue crew was sent out but unfortunately its six crew were lost when their boat capsized, names of all the men can be seen on a plaque at the base of the monument. It was eventually recovered by a Spanish boat and later taken to London for installation along Victoria Embankment in 1878. Buried beneath is a time capsule containing children's toys, a portrait of Queen Victoria, a collection of coins, 12 portraits of English beauties, translations of the inscriptions among a range of other items.
While I was in London and with Victoria Embankment been so close to the transport museum I thought it was only right to pay a visit to the real thing, and it was nice to see the amount of people that stop in there tracks when they come across such an unusual item in the middle of London, and that the sorrow and effort involved in its transport wasn’t all in vain. I can’t wait to see what the brief will bring next time round and Im already looking forward to see what else London has yet to reveal. The exhibition will be on until 14 July 2019 so catch it while you can and make sure to vote for your favourite when you do.