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Kiran Ravilious Natural artist and Block Printer

October 9, 2013

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Kiran Ravilious trained  in the Visual arts and worked as a graphic artist, hailing originally from Singapore, she moved to England at the age of 21. Soon after her move she met her future husband Ben, that was 10 years and two small girls ago. In case you’re wondering (as it is an amazing surname), Ben is the grandson of Eric Ravilious. Kiran tells on her blog how Ben inspired her to draw and paint coming from a family of talented artists and eventually a business developed which has been successfully running for three years now.

Not wanting to sit in front of a computer for a career Kiran says ” I picked up some lino one day and began carving and experimenting printing on fabrics after reading some books. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be at first but it’s been four years and my style and printing methods have evolved. I’ve always loved printmaking and drawing patterns ”

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It’s a short walk to her lovely studio, just beside the apple and ash trees in her garden. Who wouldn’t be inspired to work here ! What a lovely space.

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Here Kiran spends her days creating intricate and beautiful linocuts which then get translated into designs for a whole multitude of products like stationery, cushions, lampshades, and other household items.  Kiran calls them her ‘naïve botanical plants’, and gains inspiration from simple weeds to more complex and tropical forms from her days in Singapore. She recalls taking many photographs around the botanical gardens there in the blazing sun. Having the place to herself was an added bonus. Then when she came to the UK she noticed the change in plant forms and through her ‘Tropical Forest’ collection of prints, aims to gradually interweave the two. Here’s a little taster.

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Apparently Kiran’s favourite colour is green (apart from lime green) and the best part of her job is being able to express herself through her designs and keeping everything made in England. Her favourite part of the printing process is working with the lino.

” It has to be the carving ” She explains. ” It requires concentration but I’m also at my most creative when I’m carving. My designs are quite large for block printing which is normally small and delicate. The blocks themselves, to me, are lovely ”

And I think we all agree.

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I managed to catch up with Kiran and ask a couple of questions.

Do you have any plans for the future in terms of where you’d like to see your work going or places you’d like to sell to?

I’d really like to work on my wallpapers and fabrics and aim to target the interiors market with them and also design the next collection.

Who are your influences and inspirational people around you ?

I married into an artistic family and although some might find it daunting, for me, it’s been great ! They play a big part in inspiring and more importantly, supporting me and giving me their honest thoughts and opinions. I’m inspired by the colours Eric Ravilious used, the handmade nature of Tirzah Ravilious and Peggy Angus’s works and outside the family, I’m love Rousseau’s jungles.

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Kiran also has a growing range of wallpapers and fabric designs, all derived from her nature inspired designs.

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I feel there’s a calm, classical beauty to her work and through reading Kiran’s blog you really feel that you get to know her and her ideas, more intimately.  In this beautiful passage she remembers and shares a fond memory about her late father.

” As a child, it was my dad who used to sit and draw with me. We used to have to make these art folios when I was at primary school and I would wait for my dad to come home from work (he was an officer in the Singapore Navy), so he could draw Bugs Bunny on my folio. I would colour it in and no doubt was the proudest kid at school the next day. That continued all the way till I was at my second year of art collage. He bought me my first Apple Macintosh when I was in my second year, doing Graphic design. For some reason, I decided to buy a little couch for my room and would often find him sitting on it reading his book whilst I was working on the computer. I loved having him there, just for company ”

Her business maybe relatively new but she already has an impressive list of stockists on her website and sells her products in London, Holland and France.  Definitely a name to keep an eye on. Keep up the great work Kiran, it shines with style !

If you want to see more of Kiran’s work close up then she’s next exhibiting at Made London from the 25th – 27th October.  All photographs are from Kiran’s site and some information was taken from Katie Treggiden’s wonderful confessions of a design geek‘s site from 2012, many thanks for permission to use both.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 9, 2013 3:11 pm

    This was great! I am inspired! I did simple ‘block prints’ centuries ago when in high school, loved the process, I could do it again. Her little studio is wonderful. Love the intricate ‘simplicity’ of her work. Thanks for showing.

    • October 9, 2013 4:41 pm

      Looking forward to seeing some block prints from you then joy… again great you find it inspiring. Happy creating

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