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No More Comfort Zones – Lou Blackshaw | CYD#4

Lou Blackshaw’s 3-dimensional illustrations hinge on the balancing of the obviously artificial with the apparently accidental. Inspired by naturally occurring forms, and sculptors like Barbara Hepsworth and Andy Goldsworthy, Lou works her materials into a dizzying series of angles and curves that look deceptively organic. Aside from her fascination with redefining paper as a sculptor’s material, her work with concrete, glass, fabric and even food, is proof of her refusal to be boxed in – if there’s one accusation she’s surely safe from, it’s that of “playing it safe”.

After studying illustration at Bristol, Lou moved to London in search of a career path that would enable her to pursue her love of 3-d work. She found herself adapting quickly to the fast-paced world of advertising and now relishes the freedom to work on multiple projects at once. As a set-designer, she works regularly with brands like Nike and Harrods to craft bold editorials and expert ad campaigns, as well as pursuing personal projects to further develop her style. From a Mannerist food face for Ocado Life to a shell sculpted from a single piece of paper for BA, Lou’s varied body of work is as playful as it is unpredictable.

The easy intertwining of the natural and the contrived characterises the final image in most of her projects, with products and sets fitting neatly and asymmetrically together. Continually exploring new forms and techniques to make her work ever more representative of her personal aesthetic, Lou is as multi-faceted as her art. At the heart of her work ethic is a determination to constantly develop and innovate. It’s a determination we recognise and admire –it’s at the heart of Nosakhari, too.

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