| The Art & Design of Ben Drury|
March 31 - June 2, 2001
Opening Reception Saturday, March 31, 7-10pm
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| I was born January 4th, 1972 in Southampton. My family moved and I grew up in Cornwall, in a small fishing village. I had some sense of graphic design in my childhood, a love of stamps, reference books, and an uncle who was a designer in Japan.|| || My formal design education is as follows:|
1990/91 Falmouth college of Art & Design. 1 year Foundation course.
1991/94 Central St.Martin's School of Art. BA Hons Graphic design.
| My work stems from from my love of music but equally my love of design itself, an instinctive interest in lettering... from graffiti to letterpress and a need to solve problems, or perhaps I mean a pleasure in finding visual solutions.|| || I started designing record sleeves while studying at St.Martin's, initially in partnership with photographer William Bankhead. Our first jobs were given to us by friends such as Fat Cat records, Global Communication and Akin Fernandez, founder of the inspirational Irdial discs.|| || My involvement with Mo'Wax began when Will was asked to take photographs of James Lavelle for a magazine in 1994. They became good friends and as a result of our partnership we were asked to take over the design of the label. We collaborated on all our early projects, including sleeves for Attica Blues, Sam Sever, Air and Money Mark. Will using his pioneering darkroom techniques while I focused on logo, layout & type design.|| || James encouraged us to source new materials, use special printing processes, develop new packaging solutions and to experiment across the range of formats, his mania for novelty and the profuse output of the label made this both an instructive and intense period and some of these sleeves are among my personal favourites.|| || After a year or so Will left to develop other areas of his work and I became Art Director of Mo'Wax. Will and I still collaborate when we get the chance. I've just done some T-Shirts for his Park Walk clothing label and I still prefer to use his photography above all others.|| || James has amassed an enormous private collection of toys and his fixation with action figures has led me into three dimensional design. The first toy I made was the Money Mark figure. It was well received and led us to set up a separate branch of Mo'Wax, MWA (Mo'Wax Associated) for toy and arts related ventures. This in turn led to collaborations with other artists such as Futura 2000, Mark Gonzales, 3D and Giovanni Estevez. My own role in MWA has been to realise 3 dimensional forms from the loosest of 2 dimensional sketches.|| || One day in 1998, whilst we were working on the UNKLE project, Andrew Holmes, a friend and former head of MWA was looking through some unsolicited showreels when he chanced upon an amazing animation by Richard Kenworthy. We had the pleasure of giving Richard "Kenny" Kenworthy of Shynola his first commission, a short animation for UNKLE using elements I had designed for the artwork. Meeting Kenny has been a highlight of this time and we are planning more collaborations.|| || The UNKLE sleeve, like many other Mo'Wax sleeves (UNKLE/DJ Krush etc) featured artwork by Futura. I have loved working with his art (which had made an early impression on me) and was honoured when he asked me to compile and design his book for him 'FUTURA' (Booth-Clibborn Editions/MWA 2000) This has been probably my largest single project to date.|| || Almost all the materials for the book were sent to me in a number of Federal Express boxes by Futura, these contained personal memorabilia, writings and photographs of his work. I supplemented this with taped interviews and several visits to his home and studio in New York.|| || I also found it useful to take some of my raw material from his web site which exemplifies aspects of his nature. In the making of this book I brought all the techniques I had learned into play in an attempt to express his four decades of creative output. Will Bankhead and Richard Kenworthy make some distinguished contributions. From the outset I had a vision of the book I wanted to own as a fan and It took 3 years to finally realise my goal.|| || At present I run my studio from the loft of my home in South London. Gareth Bayliss and Ben Chatfield are my assistants, Gareth works with me on the Mo'wax output and Ben on all other projects.|
Ben Drury, London 2001