Lucie Loves… Art // Photoblogged | Joe Wilson's Fireworks for Dead Men at Coningsby gallery - part one


Lucie Loves… Art

Photoblogged | Joe Wilson's Fireworks for Dead Men at Coningsby gallery - part one

This week has been a bit of a whirlwind, but I can definitely say that one of my highlights was checking out Joe Wilson’s first ever solo exhibition at the Coningsby gallery.

JMG and I met Joe back in early 2011. We were living in Leicester at the time, in a beautiful loft apartment - yes, we still have to pinch ourselves that spaces that big actually exist outside of London, and can be rented for under £900 a month!

Anyway, I digress… we first bumped into Joe in his studio space that he shared with the guys from FD2D magazine. Homegrown talent at its finest.

His latest exhibition is heavily influenced by Las vegas - a place which set the scene for a pretty big milestone event in his life: his marriage to his beautiful wife and lingerie designer, Olivia.

In Fireworks For Dead Men, Joe explores the idea of ‘Memento Mori’. This Latin phrase translates as ‘remember your mortality’, dating back to times of antiquity, the idiom was used to describe artworks that featured a ‘figure of death’.

Often captured with their eyes open, the recently deceased were once captured in post mortem photography as a last remaining memory for those left behind. Joe pays homage to this beautiful and often haunting practice in breathtaking, hand-drawn portraits.

To get an idea of how Joe likes to work, check out the short film JMG created of Joe working on his Attack The Block cover for Little White Lies magazine.

Little White Lies Magazine Cover - Joe Wilson Illustrator from jmgcreative on Vimeo

The show centres around a collection of new work, exploring centuries-old reverse glass mirror painting techniques, updated for the modern day to create beautiful and haunting one off pieces. These pieces are available for sale throughout the show along with a selection of screen printed paper editions.

A number of older pieces of work and original drawings are also on display, with a limited number for sale. We really want to buy the No Deserter illustrated skateboard deck, available to buy at The Seasons online store.

As you can imagine, JMG and I were both very taken with work, and so began the start of our friendship and, simultaneously, our Joe Wilson print collection.

It was also during our stint living in Leicester that I began blogging after being approached by award winning creative agency Rees Bradley Hepburn via twitter, and as a result became resident blogger for Highcross shopping centre. In accepting the role, I was tasked with coming up with a blog name and an identity that would represent my resident blogger status.

Lucie Loves… was born and, I guess, has stuck with me ever since. Being a fan of his work, I approached Joe and asked whether he could illustrate a blog header that would encapsulate the kind of things that I would be writing about: food, cocktails and fashion - to name but a few.


Joe worked from a series of photographs to create a portrait illustration of me, in his iconic line-based style. He layered it up, adding some more colour, playing around with the composition, before arriving at the final design below.


The Coningsby exhibition of Joe’s work is on until 4 April, and is well worth a visit. It really gives you an idea of the breadth and depth of his creative talent and the kind of commissions that he’s had the chance to work on. From intricately illustrated beer cans for 21st Amendment - an American brewery, to his latest screen printed mirrors and numerous magazine and book cover illustrations, Joe’s work knows no bounds.

We’re looking forward to seeing what illustrative adventure he embarks on next!

Part two - a short film of the private view, can be seen here.

To check out more of Joe’s work visit:

Photography © Lucie Kerley

Illustration © Joe Wilson