If you love monsters you must get along to ‘Hey, Who’s This Guy?’, the first solo exhibition by my friend Louise Evans, aka Felt Mistress. It’s being held at the East London HQ of too-cool-for-school comics publishers Nobrow. I missed the opening night on Thursday, unfortunately, but it’s running till June.
Felt Mistress is a monster-maker. She makes them out of felt and plush and other divers materials. These aren’t big, looming, scary monsters or dark, gothic creations (well, one or two perhaps). They are fun, stylish and beautifully executed character pieces each with his or own story to tell. They are exquisitely thought-out and detailed, with Louise making every aspect of their individual costumes and accessories in addition to their bodies.
I think I’m right in saying that all of Felt Mistress’s creations represent collaborations. Her monsters have been designed initially in 2D by such renowned artists as John Burgerman and Pete Fowler. But her main collaborator is long-term life partner Jonathan Edwards, whose artwork will be familiar to any of you who read Paranormal Magazine during my tenure or who have bought either of my Ghost Finder iPhone apps. I first met Jonathan more than 20 years ago. His sketch book blew me away. Later I was lucky enough to collaborate with him myself when I wrote a comic and a few other pieces with him. I’ve loved his work ever since.
Jonathan and Louise met on the school bus when they were in their teens. No wonder they’re so sympatico. Their house is a psychedelic den of toys, original artwork and art books. Most of the monsters on sale and on display at the Nobrow exhibition have been worked up by Louise from sketches made by Jonathan. But the drawings are only the start. The extraordinary degree of extra personality she imbues into the 3D versions is incredible. She really does breathe life into them.
Photos don’t really do Felt Mistress’s creaions justice. They have to be seen close up to appreciate the craftsmanship, clever detail and sheer exuberance that makes them the works of art they are.
The ‘Hey, Who’s That Guy?’ exhibition by Felt Mistress is at Nobrow, 62 Great Eastern Street, London, EC2A until June 23. To read more about Felt Mistress visit her website www.feltmistress.com or her blog at http://feltmistress.blogspot.co.uk/. Many of her creations can be seen on her Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/feltmistress/