The London Illustration Fair returns to the South Bank

New works from international rising stars, mixed media and live “glitch” art are big draws in this flourishing fair

Primavera Owl by Kristjana S Williams
Primavera Owl by Kristjana S Williams

London’s South Bank is hosting an illustrative extravaganza this weekend, December 2-4, with more than 60 exciting emerging international illustrators, designers, printmakers and publishers gathering together in a former warehouse on Oxo Tower Wharf.

Threshold of the Abstract Pleasure by Guido Iafigliola
Threshold of the Abstract Pleasure by Guido Iafigliola

The London Illustration Fair was founded in 2013 by two school friends, Alastair Eland and Sam Bennett, who “wanted to capture the enjoyment and creativity of an industry flourishing with talent and passion”. This fourth edition will feature installations, collaborations and performances alongside the artworks (£5-£400).

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The organisers have built the show around three big names, the Icelandic-born artist Kristjana S Williams, whose jewel-like butterfly adorns the fair’s flyer, Uruguay-based mixed-media artist Guido Iafigliola, and Jonny Wan, a Sheffield-based illustrator with a distinctive ancient Egypt-meets-art deco take on portraiture.

Mustana, Calais by Nick Ellwood
Mustana, Calais by Nick Ellwood

Each will be showing a selection of new work and highlights include Williams’ elaborate and fantastical Primavera Owl, and Iafigliola’s intriguing Threshold of the Abstract Pleasure. Part landscape, part visual representation of sound waves, the latter will delight fans of innovative techniques – as will Iafigliola’s live, interactive “glitch” performance on the fair’s opening night, in which he corrupts digital data and manipulates electronic devices to aesthetic effect.

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Other gems to look out for include Nick Ellwood’s haunting, large-scale portraits of refugees he met while working at the Calais migrant camps, and Ben Rothery’s charming, anthropomorphic animals.

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