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Thursday 9 October 2014

Take a peak at the Strange Folk

Date: Friday 17 October – Saturday 22 November

Location: Solent Showcase, Sir James Matthews Building, Guildhall Square, Southampton

Their artwork is appreciated by celebrities, fashion magazines and publishers alike. Now, two talented artists teaching at Southampton Solent University are joining forces to create ‘Strange Folk’, a new exhibition at Solent Showcase from 17 October-22 November.

Both artists are interested in the eccentric and the exotic, either the famous wrestlers in masks that Peter Lloyd studied in Mexico or the strange and peculiar night people that inhabit Jonny Hannah’s Dark Town – a place he has totally populated from his imagination.

Peter Lloyd – whose work adorns the walls of celebrities such as David Bowie, Missy Elliott, Holly Johnson, Peter Blake and Vic Reeves – is the   Head of Southampton Solent School of Art and Design.

He says that the wrestlers depicted in his art are screen-prints based on an investigation into ‘Lucha Libre’, a Mexican form of masked wrestling.

“The participants are masked and this personal anonymity provides a blank canvas upon which to create their own characters, using elaborate costumes and demonstrative actions, says Peter.

“In the course of the fights the participants act out complex morality tales that have real meaning for their audience, similar to those performed by Mummers or Japanese Noh Drama,” he adds.

Jonny Hannah is the Course Leader for BA (Hons) Illustration at Southampton Solent and his work has graced the pages of Vogue, The New York Times and many a book jacket, as well as advertising and design work for clients such as the English National Opera and vintners Justerini and Brooks.

He describes his artistic influences as his obsessions: music (Hank Williams, Buddy Bolden, Louis Armstrong, Lady Day and Jacques Brel); poetry (Ginsberg’s Howl, Walt Whitman); clothes, (Co respondent shoes, Suits, Knitted Ties); tin toys; and mussels.

Jonny has created a new venue for all imaginative souls to visit when visual and cultural sustenance in this world is not enough – ‘Dark Town’. A fictional place where everyone jostles for position – characters from the history of Jazz, boxers, detectives, clowns, barmen, poets, Punch and Judy, Gumbo makers, sailors, rocket men.

For Strange Folk, he will be making a number of new prints and paintings, cut out on board, along with an assortment of customized junk, bespoke for the Arcane Arcade – a shop that sells the unusual and possibly pointless.

“From Captain Cat’s Cat, to defaced guitars, this unusual shop will hopefully please all who enter. I hope that Strange Folk will act as an antidote, yet coexist alongside, to the fact that every modern high street looks the same,” says Jonny.