Kara Small Backpack - £340   99x99 by Luke Stephenson - £30
Rob Brandt Crushed Glass Set - £34   Acne Studios Adriana Trainers - £300
Merchant Archive Large Pineapple - £285   Whistles Adrianne Silk Bermuda Short - £125
Weekday Lunne Trenchcoat - £135   Filippa K Blue Blouse - £85

Tom Edwards: The Procession to Ćaute

When we heard Beach London were putting on Tom Edwards' debut solo show, we knew we were in for something special. Graduating from Brighton University in 2010, It's Nice That published Tom's If Drawings Were Photographs, and he has worked on a number editorial and commercial projects, with clients including Adidas, Nokia and Lazy Oaf.

We've been hooked ever since Victory Press published Tom's Nine Tales comic, but just in case you've not heard of him, here are a few things you should bare in mind before seeing his The Procession to Ćaute exhibition. Tom has a slight obsession for cats and medieval history. It might sound like the most clichéd combination of subjects for an upcoming illustrator, but somehow in his psychedelic imagination, it works.

Tom Edwards' amusing comic book style is something we've been yearning for a long time, and quite frankly is unlike anything that's come out of London's illustration scene. A true reflection of Tom's personality without being self indulgent or autobiographical, and particularly in the large scale (150cm wide) pieces such as the The Procession to Ćaute and Ćaute, his work captures the whimsical humour as seen on his Tumblr Blog. Story-wise, there's a lot going on in both pieces, which can be a lot to digest, unlike some illustrations that depict a single 'conventionally beautiful' image. But that's exactly how Tom likes it, more is more, with plots and sub-plots running in tandem. Surprisingly all the characters and stories are fictional though the only element of truth to these colourful works are his feline protagonists, directly based on the cats that belong to Tom and his family members.

Initially rendered as sketches, which are scanned, digitally edited, printed, traced in pen, scanned back in, to be digitally coloured, it's a labour-intensive process for Tom especially for the large pieces which dominate the show (one took four weeks to complete). Always going for bright pastel colours, the dreamy shades lend a vintage 70s quality to the work, stopping them from looking too childlike or cartoon-y.

As far as the exhibition and Tom's work goes, we reckon it's got potential for some serious mass appeal from die-hard illustration fans to those who have a passing nostalgia for comic books/vintage cartoons. We might be biased because we love cats, though Tom ponders whether there maybe too many dominating his work now, to which we replied, "You can never have enough cats!!"

The Procession to Ćaute by Tom Edwards is open at Beach London till 24th June 2012.
20 Cheshire Street, E2 6EH

Louisa Lau
10:32 - 14/06/12