Mythical beasts coming to tea in Brick Lane

15:00 07 March 2014

Kew by Octavia Austin

Kew by Octavia Austin


An upcoming exhibition at the Full Stop bar in Brick Lane depicts British folk stories through the eyes of four artists.

Swan by Eilieen Kai Hing KwanSwan by Eilieen Kai Hing Kwan

Beer, Tea and British Folklore, which begins today, is the new pop-up from BAK2BAK, the brainchild of curator Ben Lees.

The company focuses on sustainability and art incorporating the notion of upcycling.

With this new show, the illustrations have been drawn on recycled and handmade paper, which artist Alex Moore said would give the work a very tactile feel.

The illustrators, each from the group Drawn Chorus, portrayed the theme of British mythological creatures coming to tea through their own interpretations, resulting in a varied and dreamlike exhibition.

Octavia Austin said: “I had the idea to do the creatures on a tea set – as the decoration, like a play on willow pattern china.

“I wanted to link themes to feel like a very special tea party, so I researched heraldic legendary beasts. If you look closely all of the beasts are wearing heavy royal jewellery.”

Illustrators Cathy Kwan and Eileen Kai Hing Kwan were inspired by the story of The Lion and the Unicorn and brought the myth to life.

Eileen was inspired by the Golden Age of art in the 18th century and fashion illustration for her lion and unicorn characters.

She said: “I would like to describe my work as dream-like and beautifully eerie.”

Cathy said: “My pieces are really about the vagueness of The Lion and The Unicorn poem. It never specifically says who wins, and I liked that.

“I wanted to illustrate each of their stronger and weaker selves.”

Alex said: “People can look forward to original, quirky handmade work in a cool setting. And unicorns – lots and lots of unicorns.”

The exhibition runs until March 31.


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