The Inspiration Behind SEVEN’s 2019 Art Books

LAT 2019 exhibition

Gene Simmons – you know, the Kiss guy with the graphic makeup and the wild tongue – once said:

“I crave ideas, and when an idea hits me, it grips me and it tortures me until I master it.”

That’s kinda how SEVEN’s 2019 creative art book project has taken us. Now the Leigh Art Trail 2019 is upon us and while all our art books are complete, some of us made it by the skin of our tortured teeth. Others, on the other hand, were much more organised (Kim!).

So we took this opportunity to look around and start asking ourselves some questions. What lessons have we learned? And what did we most enjoy while undertaking this particular SEVEN art project?

But first up, we asked…

Who Inspired Your Art Book?

Our unifying theme for 2019 was a favourite artist or art movement, but why did each SEVEN member choose their particular theme?

Kim – Robert Rauschenberg


Robert Rauschenberg (1925 – 2008) an American artist who worked in a variety of mediums – including painting, printmaking and performance – inspired Kim’s art book.

As the Rauschenberg Foundation says:

“…Rauschenberg has been called a forerunner of essentially every postwar movement since Abstract Expressionism.”

Which might have had a little something to do with why Kim picked him as her subject:

“For literally decades I would have said that Andy Warhol was my favourite artist, but when I saw the Robert Rauschenberg exhibition at Tate Modern, it made me think again. Such varied work, so inspiring, it made a big impression on me, and I wanted to find out more.”

Jo – Hundertwasser


Jo chose Friedensreich Hundertwasser, an artist, architect and ecologist, as her subject. Born in Vienna in 1928 Hundertwasser became recognised for his striking use of spirals and arabesque lines. Writing about his art work in the mid-1970s he said:

“The colourful, the abundant, the manifold, is always better than mediocre grey and uniformity”,

Explaining why she took Hundertwasser as her starting point Jo says:

“I first came across Hundertwasser and his work during University, where I studied textile design. I love his use of colour and I’m inspired by the pattern-like style in his paintings and architecture. More recently I visited an exhibition of Hundertwasser, Klimt and Schiele at Atelier des Lumières, in Paris, which was an immersive experience that rekindled my interest.”

Amanda – Matisse


Amanda centred her project on Henri Matisse, (1869 –1954) a French artist, famed for his use of colour and decorative forms. But Amanda decided to concentrate on the legendary cut-outs, created towards the end of his career:

“I love his sense of colour and the playfulness he found in this late period of his work, when he was ill and had his assistants paint paper for him to cut into directly. I find fun in the work that I do with SEVEN and this playfulness in Matisse’s series fitted.”

Helen – Surrealism


So Helen focused her book on Surrealism:

“A twentieth-century literary, philosophical and artistic movement that explored the workings of the mind, championing the irrational, the poetic and the revolutionary.” – Tate Modern

While Salvador Dalí is probably the best known Surrealist artist – who were largely men – and Sigmund Freud their ‘patron saint’ Helen says:

“I was originally interested in some of the female Surrealists. Their use of myth, folklore, fantastic landscapes, Jung, alchemy, and more, fascinates me.”

Juliet – Oceania


Juliet’s concertina creation is inspired by the Royal Academy exhibition Oceania, which explored the art of the people of the Pacific ocean. The RA says:

“From shell, greenstone and ceramic ornaments, to huge canoes and stunning god images, we explore important themes of voyaging, place making and encounter.”

The exhibition featured works from the 18th century to the present and included:

“[S]eminal works produced by contemporary artists exploring history, identity and climate change.”

Juliet goes on to say that the reason for her choice was the fact that she:

“…loved how the art was so inspired by the world around them.”

Leigh Art Trail – at last!

So, it’s a wrap!

(From left) Jo, Helen, Kim, Amanda, Juliet

SEVEN are excited to be part of Leigh Art Trail 2019. Remember, the Trail is “…a not for profit, volunteer run, community engagement organisation, showcasing the work of local contemporary artists and designers”.

And, we love sharing both our creative art books and the ideas behind them with the many Trailers who take the opportunity to visit us at our lovely host venue Planet Leasing.

Have a go!

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