Flaming Nora - art for sale

South London inspired art for sale in Crystal Palace retro emporium.

Illustrations of Croydon

Illustrations of Croydon

Crystal Palace's Flaming Nora are now displaying a whole stack of my painting and ink drawings in their lovely shop at 40 Church Road, SE19 2ET. The art is all inspired by various streets, views and people of South London, but mainly focusses on Croydon. All work is for sale, and is decorating many of the walls of their quirky and well-stocked retro and up-cycled furniture shop throughout December. Pop by for a set of 1950s chairs, and you may end up leaving with one of my pictures too.

Flaming Nora interior

Flaming Nora interior

South London Art and Illustration Exhibition

The first solo exhibition of south London inspired art and illustration by Matt Bannister at Cafe Adagio, Croydon.

Matt Bannister's South London art exhibition poster

Matt Bannister's South London art exhibition poster

I'm pleased to say that I currently have a solo exhibition, called 'Rounded Corners', on the outskirts of Croydon, at Café Adagio. The display contains new and older art and illustrations of mine, all responding to the sights, characters and architecture of south London.

I created six new acrylic paintings (and some pen and ink illustrations) specifically for the exhibition, each featuring a different view of Croydon sprinkled with a few local characters. The people in the works are inspired by the shoppers, children and commuters I've seen nearby, so you may even recognise someone if you live in the area! The other pieces are influenced by a diverse range of south London places: brutalist architecture in Southwark, hungry shoppers in Borough Market, Victorian arches in Crystal Palace and brand new shiny tower blocks on Wellesley Road, Croydon.

Some of the framed Borough Market illustrations in the show have featured before on this blog, when I completed them back in September 2013. I still go there to ogle all the food.

Here's the bio blurb that I wrote to go alongside the paintings, drawings and lithography:

"Matt Bannister is an illustrator and artist obsessed with architecture and people. He creates bold and hand-drawn imagery full of character and is regularly inspired by the urban landscapes of South London. After studying fine art at university, he worked for the BBC for 13 years but has recently picked up the pen/brush/pixel and returned to creating his own work. Recent successes of his include two large bus sculptures for the TFL bus trail in Croydon, covers for The Croydon Citizen, and illustrations for Nesta and Universal Music. His imagery inspired by Crystal Palace is a popular favourite in the SE19 area too."

There are pieces inspired by Southwark, Crystal Palace and Croydon to be seen (and purchased). In addition to the framed originals on sale in the café, limited edition digital prints of some of the new Croydon work are available to buy here.

Café Adagio is located at 227 Lower Addiscombe Road, Croydon, CR06RB and is a great little place to relax with a coffee. The exhibition will be up until at least 29th July (but may be extended). More info about the exhibition can be found on my Twitter and Instagram feeds or by using these links:




Please Use Other Footpath

Are there too many people in central London?

illustration of London architecture

illustration of London architecture

This new image was inspired by that feeling I get sometimes when London isn't quite as fun as it should be. All it takes is a stuffy tube ride, a cancelled train home, feeling travel sick on the bus, etc. and even the most loyal Londoner thinks it might be healthier to live by a babbling river in the Oxfordshire countryside. This is not peculiar to Londoners, I'm sure. All modern (and historical) city dwellers have bad days when they wished they had the streets to themselves.

The apparent onslaught of quickly built skyscrapers is due to arrive any week now, if you believe what you read. We may all like the shining pinnacles when they are complete, but I think it is a genuine worry for people. They don't seem to be for anyone other than rich corporate boardroom goers. Architecturally, it could end up as a pissing contest - my urban erection is bigger than yours!

However, despite all this, my image ended up being quite pretty with a low sun, dramatic shadows and warm colours. Hopefully it bodes well for the future: even glass and steel can look attractive in the right light. I call it 'Please Use Other Footpath'.