Brighton-based paper artist Owen Gildersleev has teamed up with masters of screen-printing Harvey Lloyd Screens to host Like No Other, an exhibition which celebrates the magic of collaboration and the beauty of imperfection via uplifting, one-of-a-kind artworks.
Currently on display at the Phoenix Art Space in Brighton until 9th April, Like No Other is a unique combination of handcrafted techniques. In the collection, mono-screen prints are paired with hand-cut paper designs created by Owen in his signature graphic style to celebrate light, colour space and form that explore themes of individuality.
As far as mediums go, the two are well-placed to delve into the everyday wonders and the perfection that can be found in imperfection. After all, Owen's paper designs have a certain sharpness and clarity, while the hand-painted mono-prints are inherently fluid and create endlessly diverse results.
The idea for the exhibition came from when we were all reassessing the everyday and finding joy in the little things: lockdown. Despite living and working under social restrictions, Owen also faced a new-found freedom to experiment with different creative approaches. It included creating watercolour washes, exploring gradients, and combining them with handcrafted paper artwork.
"The initial idea, 'Like No Other', was to do with individuality," he adds. "We are all one-of-a-kind and all the more amazing for it. As the project expanded, so did my repertoire of references, responding to song lyrics and passages from books and poems, relating to themes of light, space and colour, the importance of connection and finding beauty in imperfection."
This opportunity of exploration led to Owen reaching out to Harvey Lloyd to collaborate on a one-off piece. As with all good ideas, though, this soon snowballed as Harvey ran with the idea and evolved it into something completely new: an array of wonderful mono-prints inspired by Owen's initial concept.
Through a process of creative 'call and response', Harvey grew the seed of the idea into an exhibition which tells a story of human connection, collaboration, and the courage to step outside of one's comfort zone in order to exchange techniques and ideas.
The resulting pieces see Owen's paper-cut elements taken from the very same paper stock as the mono-prints they're inspired by, representing a harmonious union of the two crafts. It also provides a natural colour limitation to the paper-cut components, contrasting with the prints' vibrancy.
"There's also a level of respect in these gorgeous one-of-a-kind prints that Harvey Lloyd has created, not wanting to cut them up or destroy them in any way, which has added a nice boundary to the project," adds Owen.
"They aim to be respectful with my designs and to leave the nice handmade elements visible, such as the lovely frayed and sometimes messy borders, created due to the taping of the print areas."
The exhibition runs until Saturday and has taken over the Project Space in the Phoenix Art Space. It features 50 one-of-a-kind, original pieces of artwork, all of which guide viewers through the collaboration and its themes. It includes small details about the craftsmanship through to large-scale immersive interpretations.
A portion of artwork sales will be donated to Arts Emergency, a charity that helps support young people from low-income families, which aims to break down the barriers to entry into the arts.
Get the best of Creative Boom delivered to your inbox weekly