For our second ever show Carl Rosati from Newcastle, aka The Cloud Commission, came to install his unique brand of gentle stories of love and loss, told through the tiny expressive eyes of his myriad, exquisitely-drawn people.
We've already told you about the way Carl sees the world, but we weren't prepared for such immediate bonding between visitors and pictures. From his large and perfectly-painted 'Death' tableau on The Big Wall to his tiny pencil-drawn image of a pair who'd rather starve at sea than be parted on land, guests paused to blink and acknowledge the little pain in the heart valves his work generates with such brutal casualness.
The perfect outline (finally...)
Scribble me purple.
Carl's work can look very 'vector' but there isn't one artwork made of pixels. He thinks nothing of creating a 15mm thick, perfectly consistent line with a 0.5mm Rotring, his historical involvement in architecture presenting itself in all of his current pieces, and his pencil sketches, though appearing simple and undemanding, can take more than a day. (We know, we watched). Eyes - the windows to a rainy or overcast soul - go in last, and mouths don't even need to be present. It was argued that the solid, stubby-fingered hands of his characters express more than their dotty eyes, but the jury's still out on that one.
Work for Idle Hands.
He brought with him not only a specially-created print of Bret 'The Hit Man' Hart the 90s wrestler (which we have for sale, prices are here.) but a pair of paintings on canvas, a new medium for him and not one he felt immediately comfortable with - though it was noted that this was the pair of images in front of which people spent the longest time. She's extracting her own tooth to stop whatever it is from hurting ('Better'), and he's accidentally shaved off a strip of his hair ('Broken') - every single follicle hand-rendered. Apart they'd be lost causes; together, they might just sort each other out.
Bret 'the Hit Man' Hart.
From our own collection of Cloud Commission works.
As well as a quartet of brightly-coloured screen prints, framed drawings, a trio of mini-screen prints and a brand new large scale print created just for our show, Carl brought his signature laser-cut diamond jewellery pieces with him. You can buy his 'Old Man' bolos, Diamond brooches, rings and cufflinks, along with his available prints, in our shop.
Guests in the form of clients, colleagues, friends, fellow illustrators and artists came from up and down the UK to cast curious eyes over our freshly-clouded space... and left with slightly damp sparkly ones. His work looks bright and character-driven - which it is - but it's also beguilingly personal and poignant.
If you want more, go to Carl's website.
If you're interesting in purchasing any of his work, then here's a price list.
Since Carl's the descendent of an Italian ice cream empire, refreshments for the night were by Booja Booja the finest ice cream in the known universe.
Real ale was Goat's Milks 3.8%, supplied by Ridge Lane's Church End Brewery.
and fresh juices from Naturally Good Food in Cotesbach.
Guests Cory from Truth Marketing and Mark Sperry, moved to tears by it all.
Carl and rapt visitor Chrissie, the night before.
Carl, the morning after.