“My work is mostly concerned with nature and Forest animals: I often draw grizzly bears and wolves and deer,” says illustrator and artist Arran Gregory, whose work Forrest is currently being displayed at Jaguar Shoes on Kingland Road, London.
Coming from a background in illustration, Gregory went on to study Graphic Design at Chelsea College of Art and Design, graduating in 2009, and now uses both methods as well as incorporating sculpture into his body of work. The current exhibition offers an alternative insight into the animal kingdom and integrates his trademark illustration with sculpture and mixed media. White and black animal heads emerge from manipulated photographs and drawings of the forest, while guests can sit on tree stumps that Gregory chopped himself.
“I went deep into the woods in Dorking to get the shots with my friend Edward Schofield,” Gregory explains. “The original photo shoot was done at midnight with a generator and lights but this weird thick fog attacked us and I ended up settling for the daytime woodland shots. I also cut down a tree and chopped it up into Log seats, which are for sale.”
Gregory started to sculpt the animals after becoming interested in the juxtapositions of human beauty and animal beauty. “I’m interested in comparing mother nature with today’s superficial magpie culture,” he says. “Which is why I’ve been using materials like mirror, gloss enamel and fake fur.”
Forest explores how humans have become removed from nature. The fake animal heads, photography and drawings confuse the viewer as to what is real and what is illusion representing the way society has forgotten what is natural and what is man-made.
As for Gregory, he plans to just keep doing what he does best: draw, chill, eat, skate and dance, taking his inspiration from friends, life and, “cheesy rays of sunshine.”
“I think that it’s really important for artists to remember who they are and what they are about,” he muses. “Everyone’s fed by the same creative spoon these days so the people who show personality and individuality shine through. Honesty shows through in creativity and is well received if met with the right skill and precision. I think it’s just a case of doing what you do and doing it well. The best piece of advice I’ve every heard is not to sweat the small stuff. And that it’s all the small stuff.”
Forrest is at Dream Bags, Jaguar Shoes, 32-34 Kingsland Road, E28DA Until 17th March