MY DESIGN SPACE
Owen Gildersleeve aims for neat and tidy in his studio, but somehow new stuff always gets in the way
Owen Gildersleeve on his battle between keeping his studio clean and the desire for more stuff
Nestling in trendy Dalston in the east end of London, Owen Gildersleeve’s current studio is his third to date. As part of Arcola Northside, however – a threestorey building filled with various creatives over 30 studios – it’s a far cry from his first.
“It was this squat-like building in Stoke Newington which didn’t have any heating or hot water and had a bad mouse problem,” he remembers. “But we were only paying £100 a month, so what can you expect?” Gildersleeve says he’s a fan of the idea of ‘tidy space, tidy mind’, but things don’t always work out that way. “As you can see by the amount of stuff I have around me, I’m also a bit of a collector of trinkets, so it’s a constant battle between showing off all my bits in a nice manner and it looking like a gift shop.”
The Mind, a piece of French knot artwork (1), was created by his mum while studying textiles at uni: “She was a big inspiration for me to get into the arts,” he reflects. There’s more nostalgia behind the woodcock (2), which he bought for his first Pick Me Up design fair in 2010, as part of illustration collective Evening Tweed. “We met lots of great people at that show, some of whom have become great friends.”
The papercut blue pavilion (3) was part of an illustration he made about the palaces of Istanbul: “I went on a trip to the city a few years later and managed to visit this incredible building covered in hundreds of blue tiles,” he adds.
A signed poster for US heavy metal band Om (4) brings back memories of an All Tomorrow’s Parties festival, where Gildersleeve saw them play live.
And what studio wouldn’t be complete without some hate mail from Mr Bingo (5)? “He used to have a studio in our building. I was so happy with it, even though it’s obscene,” laughs Gildersleeve. “It was later the cover for his book.”
Owen Gildersleeve is an artist based in London, specialising in handcrafted illustration, set design and art direction. www.owengildersleeve.com