Monday, 5 May 2014

Westmorland's Gloucester Services Illustration project

You would be excused for thinking our UK service stations rather uninspiring, transitional places only good for a quick loo stop, an OK coffee, some greasy non-descript something from a fast food joint to ease the boredom, or relief from the queuing in motorway stand-stills on the way to wherever you're trying to get to. Bear with me. 

If you follow me, you'll already know that I've recently been working with Westmorland on the new Gloucester Services project situated on the M5, which, if you've stopped at their Tebay services further north will know is quite the opposite from the scenario described above. More of a destination than an appropriate stop, the services are farm shop-inspired with isles filled with jars of homemade marinades, chutneys and jams, championing artists and designers from the area, a deli and butchers stocked with local produce and even locally grown bunches of flowers and fresh, hot food from the area served up in the canteen. Just my cup of tea. 

The illustration project has seen me design and paint by hand directly onto the walls of the shop, deli (and soon I'll be doing the butchers, take-away coffee and fuel station area too), creating a large illustrated, chalk board-style map of the south-west of Britain. The map will be covered in colourful vinyl stickers to show a key of the 130+ suppliers within 30 miles of the project, and a further 70 within 50 miles. You can see a few photos of the process below, before I get back in there and take some photos with the building up and running properly (the services open this Wednesday, excuse the boxes and building work happening around me!)

It's been a dream to work on something with values so close to my own, and so satisfying to see come together after working the design on a much smaller scale for some time. I'm a Gloucestershire girl through and through, so flying back from Finland to be involved with this was a real treat, and the perfect antidote to my on-going longing for the west country and all it's glory! You can also pick up my tea towels, aprons, cards and such which will be for sale in the services (along with a good bit of cheese, a local brew and a pie for dinner!) It doesn't come much better than this...

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