The artwork 'Cloak and Dagger' is hand printed onto the A/W '10 style DAFFY, a V-neck cardigan combining a soft Wool embellished tradional jacquard with a stretch Cotton/Wool body and Afghan-inspired tassel trim.
This exquisite cape, found in our favourite vintage boutique, Hope & Harlequin, is completely hand stitched. The two-tiered cape is fashioned from incredibly fine wool, with silk embroidery and lined with a padded silk. Wide borders of hand-knotted silk fringe complete the decoration.
Close-up of the Victorian cape that inspired the artwork 'Cloak and Dagger'.
Developmental sketches for 'Cloak and Dagger', attempting to emulate the quality of stitch through print rather than embroidery.
Floral polychrome Afghan embroidery worked in silk thread on cotton with long cotton tassels found at Portobello Market. We love the combination of techniques, from the embroidery to the beading and tassels.
Lark Rising developed the Afghan example into an interesting trim on the style DAFFY, using knitted jacquard, sequins, shell buttons, crochet and knots.
DELTA, A fine gauge stretch Cotton/Wool body with a hand crochet Merino Wool yoke incorporating shell details, also showcases the artwork, 'Cloak and Dagger'.
And finally, find 'Cloak and Dagger' on ELEANORA, a Merino Wool soft wrap scarf with jacquard knit.
'Demons' Day Out' depicts a multitude of demons and deities from far flung countries, brought together in a kaleidoscopic landscape.
The starting point for this artwork was a scroll found in a Hastings antique store (shown BELOW). We believe it to represent the Buddhist deity ‘Fudō Myō-ō’.
Fudō’s aureole is the flames of fire, which according to Buddhist lore, represent the purification of the mind by the burning away of all material desires.
Also, Fudō' has an all-seeing third eye in the centre of his forehead.
Fudō has a furious, glaring face: he seeks to convert anger into salvation. He carries a devil-subduing dagger (representing wisdom cutting through ignorance) and a device to catch and bind up demons.
Inspiration was drawn from popular Indian, Japanese and Chinese mythology, such as this beautifully illustrated book on Hindu Gods (BELOW).
BELOW LEFT: Thunder Demon by Tawaraya Sotatsu, and RIGHT: Detail from 'Demons' Day Out'.
Fujin is the god of wind, and Raijin is a the god of thunder, depicted in Chinese legends. Both are thought to live above the clouds. A legend of Chinese Buddhism says that the two gods were originally evil demons who opposed Buddha. So Buddha ordered his heavenly army to capture the two demons. After a severe battle between demons and 33 gods, the two demons were finally captured. They have been working for heaven ever since.
Weather doodles: In China, the earliest known representations of the Wind and Thunder Gods are found in the 6c caves at Dunhuangwhere they are accompanied by rain and lightning gods.
Lark Rising's 'Demons' Day Out' is hand screen printed on the style, DINKY, as part of our A/W 2010 collection. Find it in our online shop.
DINKY, a soft stretch Cotton/Wool wrap with Merino Wool jacquard knit detailing, is shown here in colourway Cloudburst.
Yesterday, Lark Rising collaborator and very good friend Ruth Ishbel Munro popped by the studio with a pile of old drawings ... Oh my, with what glee we pounced upon them!
Ruth graduated in 2008 from the University Of Brighton with a BA Hons in Illustration and she continues to work in Brighton as a freelance illustrator. Her work is an emotive amalgamation of everyday mundane life and extreme surrealism.
The treasures Ruth bestowed upon us are shown below: some original sketches for some of her more well known artworks, as well as few random curiosities thrown in the mix - parsnip chip anyone?
Anyone who has ever looked at Ruth's work will be familiar with this fearsome battle scene, the way Ruth got the girl to lock eyes with the octopuss is an artistic feat in itself.
We have been massive fans of Graham’s work since our embryonic days, and not in our wildest dreams did we imagine one of his creations would be part of our collection. Well, it’s happened, we got Carter!!! And Lark Rising is truly thrilled and honoured to have reaped the benefits of his wandering mind …
LR: What clients do you work for?
GC: In the early days of my illustration career i was working with clients such as Orange, Bupa, HSBC, FT magazine and Waterstones. These days i tend to focus more on my print career and although there are a couple of corporate clients i do regular work for, such as Aviva, by and large the illustration tends to take a back seat. This means i have more time to produce print work for galleries such as Art Republic, Soma, Ink-d and of course Boxbird.
LR: What inspires you?
GC: I usually find that flicking through illustration/print source books is enough to get my creative cogs whirring. I should stress that i don't copy anyone but i do find that somedays i need to constantly look at patterns, colours, forms, characters and compositions produced by other people in order to spark an idea of my own. Websites such as ffffound.com can usually take up a large chunk of my morning in this capacity. Letting my mind wander in a cafe or on a train or something is also sometimes all i need for a good idea to form.
LR: Do you admire any particular artists or designers?
GC: I go through phases but i'll just list a few names of Artists i'm currently interested in. These are Tara McPherson, Shaun Tan, Eric Tan (not related), Kuniyoshi, David Hockney, Mark Ryden, Nate Williams, Gary Taxali, Chris Ware and the animation work of Hayao Miyazaki and Genndy Tartakovsky.
LR: When were you last really affected by someone else's art?
GC: I bought a book called 'The Tree Show' recently by Mark Ryden. This is basically an accompanying book for a show he had in the States which was naturally heavily inspired by trees and woodland folklore/imagery, as well as featuring his trademark surrealism. The whole thing just worked incredibly well and some of the frames he had hand carved to compliment the paintings were truly breathtaking. From that i was inspired to produce my own show which i ultimately hope will be a complete package of book/prints and animation all working together, telling a story.
LR: What is it about the medium you use that appeals to you?
GC: I've always had an affinity with Silkscreen, and i'm constantly discovering new ways to use it. It's never boring and you get the satisfaction of feeling like you've done a hard days work during a particularly heavy printing session! There are so many different types of inks, printing/stencil making methods and surfaces to work with that the possibilities feel limitless.
LR: What's on your iPod while you're working?
GC: I tend to listen to a lot of the BBC 6 music station online and i'm obsessed with the Ricky Gervais podcast/audio books at the moment(far superior to the unnecessary TV show).
‘No Bugs Here’ (Giclee print 49.5 x 65cm. £200.Ed 100)
Lark Rising is a knitwear studio that collaborates with an ever-expanding portfolio of guest artists and designers. Combining the disciplines of art and design with the traditional craftsmanship and technological developments of knitting, Lark Risingcreates pieces of enduring value.