Friday 20 September 2019

Design couple printing their stamp on art world

Landmark work proves style is Brexit-proof

Art of the matter: Julie and Owen McLoughlin’s work has caught the eye of major customers. Photo: Photocall Ireland
Art of the matter: Julie and Owen McLoughlin’s work has caught the eye of major customers. Photo: Photocall Ireland
Bairbre Power

Bairbre Power

From Dublin to London, an Irish print-making company is proving that iconic landmarks are indeed Brexit-proof.

Husband-and-wife-team Owen and Julie McLoughlin's Jando brand has been making its mark on the art world over the last two years with prints of favourite Irish landmarks, from Trinity College and the Shandon bells in Cork to the Poolbeg chimneys in Ringsend.

Their creative spotlight extended to key London landmarks after they received a commission to do an interpretation of the iconic Battersea power station with its four towers which, at its peak, supplied one-fifth of London's electricity.

The Wicklow-born design couple did a print, tote bag and tea towel for the visitor centre at Battersea, which has been re-developed on the banks of the Thames.

Their next invitation came from St Paul's Cathedral which asked the team at the studio, in the Chocolate Factory on Dublin's King's Inns Street, to do a print to sell in the popular tourist shop.

St Paul's is one of the most famous and recognisable sights of London and the Christopher Wren-designed dome is the second largest in the world, reaching a height of more than 110 metres.

"St Paul's commissioned a 'London Town' piece from us and since then, we have worked with English Heritage on a Stonehenge print," explained Julie.

Located in Wiltshire, Stonehenge is perhaps the world's most famous prehistoric monument and was built about 5,000 years ago.

"They wanted one piece, we gave them eight different options and they ended up taking three of our Stonehenge prints, which is amazing," said Julie.

Owen confirmed sales have increased month on month for the last two years and it is this kind of positive bottom line that inspires their positive outlook about 'life after Brexit'.

Owen said their experience working with British companies has been that they are "not region specific and their custom is not dictated by where we are geographically".

Clearly Jando's philosophy of combining cinematic perspective and love of architecture is paying off.

Their art print business took over almost as a response to the recession and their motive was to make art affordable to everyone, with "something amazing" on their walls for multiple different price points, whether as an original, a large print or a small one costing €30.

"The relationship that people have with architecture is amazing. Any time we do a show in London, we always have the two power stations side by side, Battersea and Poolbeg - both are iconic to London and Dublin," said Owen.

"I always look out for Poolbeg when I'm flying back into Dublin. The two striped chimneys remind you you're home."

Irish Independent

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