Design for Wrapping Paper (Bagpipe Player) (1960)
About this artwork
This linocut design was made to be reproduced as wrapping paper. From the late 1950s, Bawden increasingly used linocuts instead of drawings in his graphic work. As a straightforward and cost-effective method of printing, Bawden found linocuts to be the most suitable way to make repeating patterns for wallpaper or wrapping paper as one printing block could produce many shapes. In this bold and distinctly Scottish design, the green checked lines reflect the tartan pattern on the piper’s kilt. Despite the simplification of the piper, he retains individuality and character.
Edward Bawden’s best-known works are his commissions produced for Curwen Press in Plaistow, London. These include posters for the London Underground and book illustrations. As a graphic designer and illustrator, linocuts were an important part of his work, however he was also a printmaker and painter of landscapes in watercolour, in addition to making pen and ink drawings. Bawden’s graphic designs have been praised for their simplification to the essence of the subject, their directness and humour. Bawden studied at the Design school of the Royal College of Art in London, where he was taught by Paul Nash and became friends with Eric Ravilious. He worked as an Official War Artist during the Second World War.