Observations: Monsters Inked: when the Flanimals met the Animals

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Fowler may be best known to music fans as the man behind most of the Super Furry Animals' album artwork, but he's also the creator of his own little parallel world, where his monsters run wild and free. Called "Monsterism Island", he explains, "it's an island on Earth that's yet to be discovered due to some strange atmospheric conditions!"

The artist's Monsterism brand has spawned everything from toys to T-shirts, as well as a series of comics for Vice magazine. He's even working on a series of short animated films to expand on the flash animations from the Monsterism website.

Now, an 800sqft mural of Monsterism Island forms the centrepiece of a new exhibition of monster artwork, Monsters Inked: Inside the Minds of the Gods of Monsters, which begins next Friday at the Idea Generation Gallery in Shoreditch, east London. "It's one of the most involved illustrations I've ever done," Fowler says. "It's supposed to feel as if you've stumbled through a thicket and come across this mad landscape full of creatures."

Among the other artists involved in the exhibition is Rob Steen, who brought Ricky Gervais's monsters to life in the pages of the comedian's bestselling children's book Flanimals. Twenty of Steen's Flanimals will be featured in the exhibition, among them the Honk, the Grundit and the Puddloflaj. The Central Illustration Agency, or CIA, is exhibiting the work of nine of its 80 worldwide artists – including Thunderdog, Mick Brownfield and Ray Smith – each with different takes on the monster.

And, while their big-kid parents keep themselves occupied with Fowler's toys, children can take part in interactive monster workshops, where they can design and make their very own crazy creatures. Perhaps monsters needn't be so monstrous after all. The exhibition runs until 19 April.