04.01.13 / Permalink / Comments (0)

A Few of My Favourite Sneakers:    Matt Sewell

It's been a long time coming, but at last we can show you the next in our ongoing series of 'A Few of My Favourite Sneakers'. In an interesting twist on the project concept, artist Matt Sewell (well known for his illustrations of feathered wildlife) has chosen to draw a selection of his favourite sneakers alongside birds that the sneakers remind him of. As he explains, 'Some people see faces whilst other people see cocks or tits in everything. Me, I see birds, always have. In particular I see them in cars, buildings, people and trainers...'

Sewell is an avid ornithologist, a regular contributor to Caught By The River and author of the bestselling book Our Garden Birds. He has illustrated for The Guardian, V&A, Gravis (a project we featured in the Art & Sole book), Levi's, Helly Hansen, The Big Issue and has also painted underpasses for the RSPB, and exhibited in London, Manchester, Tokyo and Paris.

Usually we ask the artists who take part in the 'A Few of My Favourite Sneakers' project to draw 10 of their favourite shoes, but, as Matt was drawing both sneakers and birds, we've made an exception to the rule meaning that he has drawn his top five shoes (with five birds).

In order of appearance, the list of sneakers and birds illustrated (including the creatively-named Latin titles for both) includes:

Fila Hiker & Bullfinch
Casualia Ambulo & Pyrrhula Pyrrhula
'A girl in our year had been hanging out with bigger boys (and going to Rezerection and other raves that I wished I'd been to) and came to school in these. I thought I was cool in my Travel Fox's but these took the biscuit. Strong and bright, proper Bullfinch. I think I remember trying to talk my old man into buying me a pair but he wanted me to get a regular pair of hiking boots. Not quite the same effect really.'

Nike Air Safari & Zebra Finch
Victoria Aer Venator & Taeniopygia Guttata
'I've never had a pair of Safari's, but I have owned a Zebra Finch - loads in fact. My dad built this aviary/cage type thing in a covered over area outside of our house. They thrived for a while, had loads of lil' chicks and were the cutest of things until this sharp frost came from out of nowhere and froze them all to death. I was of course mortified and I must of repressed this horror deep down as I totally forgot that I had ever even seen a Zebra Finch, never mind owned one. Skip on twenty years, to me and my girlfriend walking around Uluru in the searing heat when suddenly I heard the very familiar tinkling/chiming sound of a flock of Zebra Finches having a great time. Everything came flooding back to me. I was gutted but it was amazing to see them in the bush, with that bell-like birdsong which helps Aborigines find water in the scorched desert. No wonder the poor buggers couldn't handle it in the frozen North-East.'

Nike Dunk SB 'Oompa Loompa' & Stonechat
Victoria Nullam Tabula Pumilio Magus & Saxicola Rubicola
'These SB's belonged to my mate Gaz in Brighton - he loved them but I was always a bit "meh". Brown and orange is always and good combo though and they do remind me of a Stonechat, so he can't be all wrong.'

Travel Fox & Goldfinch
Peregrinationes Vulpes & Carduelis Carduelis
'I had coveted these for ages until I managed to get a pair myself. I have no idea how I managed to talk my folks into forking out for these. Although now it becomes clearer, as I distinctly remember getting them from a 'budget' shoe shop in Bishop Auckland, rather than a fancy boutique. It doesn't really matter if they were knock-off or not, as I was only interested in the colours and the massive rubbery Travel Fox logo emblazoned across the sole. Ironically, I think these met their end in a bonfire misadventure where I managed to melt a nail right through one.'

Nike Meika & Blue Tit
Victoria Puteulanus Aureus Specialis & Parus Caeruleus
'God knows where I first saw these delectable rare runners. It doesn't even matter that they are the mirror image of one of my favourite birds, I just want them on my feet.'

Thanks to Matt Sewell for such an inventive take on the 'A Few of My Favourite Sneakers' concept. For those interested, Matt has also created a special group print (shown bottom) which features all of the sneakers and birds shown here. Entitled 'A Few of My Feathered Sneakers', the 297 x 420mm (A3) artwork is giclée printed onto 308gsm Hahnemuhle paper and is A&S stamped for authenticity. To see more, or to purchase a print, click here

Keep watching Art & Sole for the next installation of A 'Few of My Favourite Sneakers'...

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