Illustrator Tom Edwards’ small exhibition The Procession to Caute is a masterpiece of intricate craft and thought and exemplary of Edwards’ creative imagination. Through only a few objects he has created an entire world with its own rich mythology and iconography.
Beach London is ideal for this exhibition of Edwards’ one-man cat-cult. The tiny basement of Beach, with its narrow stairs and low ceiling, has become some sort of lost tomb or temple. At each end of the room there’s a huge fresco-like poster, a single cat rug on the floor, and a few drawings and ceramic works on the other walls.
Looking at Edwards work it’s easy to pick out his wide-ranging influences; from the meticulous art of medieval manuscript illuminations, to ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, Pieter Bruegel paintings, and Where’s Wally books. I really enjoy large single-panel comics and satirical prints, so Edwards’ keen attention to detail and subtle humour works incredibly well for me.
Though the posters are the focus of the exhibition—one depicts the procession of worshippers, the other the interior of the cat temple—it’s the pottery and paintings that makes the exhibition for me. The miniature drawings that hinted towards Byzantine icons and the canopic jar and bowls were details that bring the whole mythology of Caute to life.