Vorpal Sword – the dreamland created by psychedelic power
London based graphic artist Will Sweeney holds a solo show in Japan for the first time in 11 years
Diesel art gallery presents ‘Vorpal Sword’an exhibition by acclaimed graphic artist Will Sweeney from 2018.3,2(Fri) – 5.24 (Thu). Vorpal Sword is the first major solo exhibition by Will Sweeney in Tokyo for 11 years. Will Sweeney is known for his diverse range of work from record sleeves, T-shirt and toy designs to fashion textiles, animated music videos and advertising campaigns for high end clients as well as his own psychedelic adventure comic ‘Tales from Greenfuzz’. The newly created work featured in Vorpal Sword represents Will’s ongoing fascination with post apocalyptic worlds, microcosmic evolution and fantastical technology. The title is inspired by Lewis Carroll’s poem, Jabberwocky (from Through The Looking Glass).
A retro/futuristic English landscape, mutated beyond recognition, is populated by mythical creatures and freakish characters, living in makeshift shelters, conducting strange rituals and harvesting the polluted soil. Meanwhile the urban centres have fallen to ruin and decadence, ruled by a twisted elite, who exploit the populace for food and entertainment. Monsters roam the landscape, real and imagined, only those able to wield The Vorpal Sword stand a chance of defeating them.
The new pieces are rendered in garish colour and in a larger scale than much of Will’s previous work,using watercolour, gel marker brush and ink, Will has developed a looser more freeform style in these pieces. Other work in the show includes a series of small scale paintings of tiny universes which display Will’s fascination with biological & medical illustration, depicting visions of worlds within worlds, cross sections of alien organisms and alien technology from eldritch dimensions. These paintings were generated from free flowing ink paintings, and refined with ballpoint pen to create an otherworldly atmosphere that suggests 1970’s science fiction art, coral reefs and primitive structures hewn from an alien substance.
In addition there will be a new animation piece made in collaboration with London artist/musician Subway Lung and several older, unseen pieces, sketches books and collected ephemera from Will’s archive.
The title Vorpal Sword signifies a vital creative energy, a life-force beaming directly from the subconscious which will vanquish monsters and destructive forces. The painting Energy Cannot Be Destroyed perhaps represents the idea behind the title best, a chaotic maze of mutated machines and strange objects burst and sputter volatile substances in a feedback loop of demented propulsion. The monsters of mundanity and inertia are defeated by the metaphysical blade of The Vorpal Sword. The life cycle goes on, cross pollinating and evolving.
There will be a range of exclusive special products on sale during the exhibition including two new limited edition silkscreen prints as well a new book zine featuring work from the show.
Title : Vorpal Sword
Artists : Will Sweeney
Date : March 2 ‒ May 24, 2018
Venue : DIESEL ART GALLERY (inside Diesel Shibuya)
Website : diesel.co.jp/art
Address : Cocoti B1F, 1-23-16, Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
TEL : 03-6427-5955
Hours : 11:30am to 9pm
Entrance fee : Free
Closed : No scheduled holidays
Coordinator : Ayako Terashima
Supported : Medicom Toy / Nieves / Fern Toys / MATSUI BIGEIDO Co.,Ltd.
Will Sweeney will be giving a signing at DIESEL ART GALLERY on March 3rd (Sat) 15:00- 17:00
Coordinator : Ayako Terashima
London based producer specialised in licensing, coordination and translation for various creative projects including graphic arts, fashion, design and culture. She has also worked for London agencies such as Winkreative and Assembly London. She worked previously as a coordinator for Diesel Art Gallery for The Ayami Nishimura x Rankin exhibition.