The Poster Prize for Illustration 2019: London Stories

My illustration Paint In the Street is included in a new group exhibition of images at the London Transport Museum.

Matt_Bannister- Paint In The Street-.png

Organised by the Association of Illustrators and the London Transport Museum, the show contains the work of 100 selected creatives who have all responded to the idea of a London story. This might be an historical event, a local legend, a scene from literature or even a narrative of the artist’s own creation. This last approach is how I came up with my poster Paint In The Street.

The image depicts the moment when a delivery driver accidentally spills an order of paint across a busy London street. Typically, the Londoners fail to stop or negotiate the mess and carry on their respective journeys, leaving an attractive (almost abstract) trail of colour across the road. The spillage never happened in reality, but I think this image draws attention to the deliberate and random road markings we can see all over London’s transport networks.

Me at the London Transport Museum at the opening of the  London Stories  exhibition.

Me at the London Transport Museum at the opening of the London Stories exhibition.

The image was created first with acrylic paint on a board. I built up a series of textures using a variety of brush strokes, splashes and flicked paint to help create the backdrop of pavement, kerbstone and tarmac road surfaces. In order to get the crisp, bold shapes for the lines, paint and characters, I used Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and merged the whole thing together, adding more shading and colour.

Some people have not noticed immediately what is happening in the scene. My mum thought the splashes of paint were strange bodies in the road, for instance, and others have liked the abstract shapes only to see the figures and tyre tracks later. Looking at it now, I think the paint spills remind me of Matisse’s paper cut-outs but I hadn’t planned that at the start - you can’t escape your influences!

Poster Prize for Illustration 2019 – an exhibition of 100 artworks on “London Stories”
London Transport Museum, Exterion Media Gallery, Covent Garden, London
Open 8 February – 14 July 2019

London Transport Museum, Covent Garden Piazza, London, WC2E 7BB, United Kingdom


Bad Behaviour Open 2016 Exhibition

Croydon-inspired paintings feature in a new group art show in Brixton.

Bad Behaviour Open 2016

Bad Behaviour Open 2016

A quartet of my south London-inspired paintings is being exhibited as part of the "Bad Behaviour Open 2016".…/bad-behaviour-open-2016/. The show runs from 14th-19th October at Brixton East 1871 The private view was a very lively (and busy affair) and hopefully the crowds will continue whilst the exhibition is up. There is a broad range of disciplines and the space is a lovely restored Victorian building. Worth a visit (but then I would say that, wouldn't I?)

Solo Art Exhibition at The Brook, Wallington, South London

Compact solo exhibition of Croydon-inspired art and illustration by Matt Bannister at The Brook, Wallington.

Art exhibition at The Brook

Art exhibition at The Brook

I currently have a small solo exhibition at The Brook, in Wallington, Surrey. The display contains brand new and familiar art and illustrations of mine, all responding to the sights, characters and architecture of Croydon.

I have created two new acrylic paintings specifically for the exhibition, each featuring a different view of Croydon sprinkled with a few local characters. The people in all the works are inspired by the shoppers, children and commuters I've seen in the town.

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

"Matt Bannister is a Wallington-based illustrator and artist: obsessed with the quirks and shapes of architecture, people, and everyday objects. He creates bold, hand-drawn work full of detail and character. Be they city skylines, streets full of pedestrians or an illustration about the threat of cyber crime, his images are loose and graphic in style. Recent commissions include illustrations for innovation charity Nesta, two large bus sculptures for the TFL bus trails in London, covers for The Croydon Citizen, and branding illustrations for Universal Music. Prints and other products featuring his designs are sold through various outlets, including his own online store. “I take as much inspiration from a trip on a stuffy bus, as I do from a windy walk along the river. From Victorian brickwork and noisy markets to silent museums and sticky poundshops - all will have something that will catch my eye and give me an idea or three.”

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

The Brook is located at 84 Manor Road, Wallington, Surrey, SM6 0AD and is a great little place to relax with a coffee/cocktail/acoustic guitar/vegan meal. The exhibition will be up until the end of October 2016. Extra info about the exhibition can be found on my Twitter and Instagram feeds.