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BRITISH PENCIL POET ERIN PETSON VOYAGES SOUTH
With a pale face like a Bronte heroine and delicate hands, Erin Petson draws like a botanist on a light box, illuminating a sleeve, a hem or a wisp of hair with a nuanced precision that swiftly blurs into abstraction. The ‘signs’ of fashion are there but they arrive in remnants; a model’s glare, a jutting ankle, the arrogance of the runway, are all offset by something way more arty and frayed. Some might say she creates as she destroys, unravelling the history of couture with every nimble stroke of her 2b pencil. Her story is central to the revival of fashion illustration in Britain, a renaissance signalled by serious art collectors and curators now avidly buying her work. The Victoria and Albert Museum have archived fifty of her drawings and increasingly she is exhibiting fine art prints, paintings and mixed media collage in galleries, rather than magazine pages. It’s a heady and hard won success born from a simple true love. Erin Petson has always equated drawing with respite and illumination.
Born in an industrial town in Northern England, 12th March 1980, Petson discovered fashion illustration at the age of 13 and, after covering the walls of her bedroom in fanciful scrawls, found her ongoing muse. Attending art school in Liverpool, her very first commission came from Stella McCartney and the fickle realm of European fashion has championed her fey exquisite drawings and paintings season after season. Perhaps it’s her attention to the spaces in between, or her refusal to simply draw a dress in detail, button for bow. Petson’s days are spent painting in silence at her studio London Fields, Hackney, East London; it’s the largest area of artists in London, it has lovely cafe’s and has a broadway market each Saturday; it also has a lido where she loves to swim outside, even in the winter. Erin also enjoys visiting the Rococo rooms of London’s Wallace Collection or thinking about Cy Twombly, another artist famous for a poetic passion for white space.
Coming to Australia in April, 2013 Petson will be launching a limited edition of art prints and completing private commissions for select publications and private clients. Having completed a highly successful collaboration with the London label, Biondi Couture, and worked with Dior Vogue, Loro Piana, Mother, Victoria Beckham, Swarovski, Diane Von Furstenberg, Moncler, Lancome, The New York Times, The Guardian, Elle, WWD Beauty, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, and Penguin, Petson’s story is a modern day fable of drawing your dreams on the sky and making them all come true, one by one.
Erin Petson is available for interview and artistic commission upon request.