London based artist and founder of Pen etc, Kerr Mcilwraith, projects his distinctive style through a diversity of mediums that include drawings, paintings and collages.
McIlwraith’s illustrations first gained attention whilst he was studying at sixth form in Colchester. His disarmingly simple and quirky style; the basic pallet and shapes as well the rough unsteady brush strokes project a kind of innocence like the musings of a wise child, yet bringing with it an sophistication that disjoins the infantile effect of the illustrations. Simple as these works appear, it’s McIlwraith’s artistic skill and creative imagination that draw viewers to engage with his work.
Whilst his illustrations are at the centre of his practice his beautiful landscape collages explore themes of fragility and future in a highly visual vocabulary.
Extracts from ArtCase by journalist Hanna Foura:
“…Being hungover in press interviews, organising impromptu art galleries with the help of his friends and family, Kerr speaks about his fortunate break in the industry as an illustrator for a children’s book in Africa about Ebola and traveling to over 10 countries in the past year in pursuit of his art work…”
“…McIlwraith considers himself a multi-disciplinary artist where he describes that he is one half illustrator and one half contemporary artist. He draws inspiration from his travels where on one side he creates various collages from travel photos he take in lo- cations such as Iceland, Norway and Finland which he then puts against more traditional pieces inspired by William Morris. One the other hand he is also producing work from his latest trips to Paris and Stockholm where he uses watercolours to transform the underground stations in his illustrations of the cities. A lot of McIlwraith’s work includes mountains and landscapes where he uses watercolours to transform the un- derground stations in his illustrations of the cities. A lot of McIlwraith’s work includes mountains and landscapes where he says that ‘his appreciation of the mountains has been from An- sel Adams’ an American photogra- pher and environmentalist who has produced landscape photographs of mountains…”