Sunday, 20 June 2010

The Gentle Art of Making Guinness

This vertiginous view of a Guinness dirigible floating over the chalk cliffs and dry-stone walls of Southern England was drawn and painted by John Ireland in the manner of W Heath Robinson (WHR) for the 1981 Guinness calendar. Supplies of Guinness in bottle and keg form gently descend on silk parachutes towards a quintessential English inn. It’s a wonderfully sustained and inventive exercise in pastiche in which every stylistic mannerism of WHR makes an appearance. There’s the epic accumulation of details, sprawling mechanical contrivances, elevated viewpoints and isometric perspective all conveyed in pitch-perfect mimicry of the much loved and non-threatening WHR style. The artist has provided a fascinating account of this commission for the Guinness Collectors’ Club and displays a selection of his caricature illustrations on his own website.


PIGNOUF said...

Nice post ! ...:)

CH2P said...

I really love your blog
feel free to check out mine
(Mondorama 2000 is dedicated to vintage colour illustrations taken from french childrens encyclopedias (1950's to 1970's)
hope you like it
best regs

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting these images.

I've been looking for them for years. One of my mates at school had it in his study and I've never forgotten how much I was fascinated by them.

The only thing I question is the year you stated...was it really '81 or was it '91? I'm not 100%, but it was around '91 that I first saw this and I seem to remember him actually using it as a calendar.

either way, they are such wonderful illustrations.



Phil Beard said...

Thank you for your comments.
I checked - and it really was 1981.