The House of St Barnabas Cartography Portfolio

A philanthropic and artistic A-Z of fantasyland by Peter Blake and co

Since opening its über-cool doors to members last autumn, Soho-based not-for-profit club The House of St Barnabas has been busy building an impressive collection of contemporary art. The Collective, as this burgeoning curated offering is known, was conceived as a way of inspiring and uplifting the club’s members and staff while simultaneously supporting its founding aim of helping London’s homeless back to work.

The Cartography Portfolio, which has just gone on display in the club’s Garden Room, is the latest addition to The Collective. Originally commissioned by the artist Gavin Turk and his wife Deborah Curtis for their child-centred, artist-led educational project The House of Fairy Tales, this is a collection of 12 specially commissioned screen prints and lithographs inspired by the imagined landscapes, characters and stories that make up the House of Fairy Tales’ world.

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The Portfolio consists of a collection of 12 artist maps of fantasyland (£3,500 for the set). Each artist has come up with a very personal interpretation. Peter Blake, for example, has created a Rock and Roll Map of America (second picture), Rob Ryan has made a characteristically witty but thought-provoking black-and-white screen print Mixing it Up on Good Old Planet Earth (third picture), Claire Brewster has produced an exquisitely ethereal mixed-media lithograph on a 1965 map of Alabra Island in the Seychelles, entitled Sweet Dreams (fourth picture), while Susan Stockwell has created the veins of a butterfly’s wings from roads and junctions (first picture).

“The House of St Barnabas is a magical central London venue with a social conscience,” says Turk, “so the garden room was the perfect space to launch our Cartography Portfolio.”

A few of these fantastical limited-edition portfolios will be broken up, so that it’s possible to buy individual signed prints, prices for which range from £500 to £1,200. Those who purchase one will not only acquire an inspiring artwork to lift their spirits but will also be making a contribution towards the charity’s activities with children and families. What’s not to love?

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