Artist Lydia Leith creates 'non-event' posters and 'sick bags' in response to a year of cancellations

'Christmas is cancelled' and 'Postponed' read the cheeky screen-printed posters by Cumbria artist Lydia Leith, who wanted to mark 2020 as the year of lockdowns, cancellations and "non-events".

"Usually over the course of a year, I would design a number of event posters," she explains. "As the year is coming to an end, it dawned on me that I had not done any of that kind of work this year and I still wanted to design some posters regardless. With so many events being cancelled or postponed this year it made sense to me, to create a piece of work about it"

With block type and traditional printing, the typographic artworks raise a smile amongst the gloom. "Everyone has missed something they would normally do, whether it be an art exhibition, a country show, a music festival or a sporting event," Lydia adds. "It's astonishing to think this is the first time in history where very few events have been happening across most of the world."

Each print is hand-signed by the artist. Available to buy from Other wares available include ceramic conkers, lavender cats, notebooks and stilton cheese cards. There's even a 'Covid-19 Sick Bag', for those of you interested. "My sick bag designs have a cult following but everyone is so fed up and 'sick of' coronavirus, the restrictions, the anxiety and the so-called 'new normal', so I think this should appeal to a wider audience."

The screen-printed airline sickness bags feature the comforting line, 'It's gonna be a bumpy ride'. The illustration in the middle is like a map of the world covered in confusing phrases, rules and signposts, the overall shape of the illustration also looks like the Covid-19 virus molecule we have become familiar within the media. Underneath it reads, 'Doesn’t it make you sick?', which Lydia says is a "phrase commonly used if people are fed up or annoyed with something but it has a double meaning because the virus really can make you unwell".

Born and bred in East Dulwich, Lydia went on to study design at Edinburgh College of Art. Following art school, Lydia started making and selling a number of screen-printed designs. She initially printed the 'Throne Up' Royal Wedding Sick Bags as a bit of fun, but the design instantly took off and was shared on TV and media across the world accelerating her reputation and kick-starting her design career.

Lydia has since designed jelly moulds, ceramics, murals and storybooks. Today, she works from her studio in Cumbria. Clients include British Airways, Dulux Paint, and Pimm's. Lydia also designs her own art projects and wares which are sold on her online shop.


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