It’s easy to see the influence of 1970s design legends Hipgnosis on Amy Sutton’s work: the studio’s strange, space-age vibe imbues her subtle gradients and the surrealist shapes that populate her portfolio.
Based in South London, Sutton is an artist and motion graphic designer working mainly in acrylic and airbrush, and occasionally in oil paint and Indian ink. Her work merges elements of abstraction and portraiture to create beguiling scenes that feel contemporary while also bearing distinct nods to her retro heroes both in the graphic design world and in surrealist films.
"I love experimenting with different physical approaches because for my day job I only work digitally and I enjoy taking a break from that,” she says. “I've spent the past seven years working as a motion graphic designer, mainly for Nickelodeon and Disney, and I think that may be because I still love cartoons and because influences from my childhood are still in my subconscious. My work features the vibrant colours of 90s cartoons and characters that are based on toys I used to have as a child."
Sutton is about to put on her debut exhibition at Descart.es gallery in Croydon, Surrey, called Fabulist, which runs from 1 July until 26 August. "I’m currently expecting my first child and much of the work examines themes of family and birth," she says. "I try to portray relationships between people or intangible feelings by simplifying them into abstract shapes, and forms overlap and intersect to create new entities and satellites. It's also encouraging me to think a lot about childhood and how its influences form our adulthood, and my work has become quite nostalgic because of that."