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Q&A / James Marsh

Painter, illustrator, designer, author, and avid collector of curiosities. James Marsh’s art has been the perfect match to Talk Talk’s music ever since his design for their debut album in 1982.

Marsh's relationship with Talk Talk resulted in a stunning catalogue of imagery; a jewel in Marsh's already impressive and distinctive portfolio.

Back in December 2018, Marsh invited us into his museum-like home and studio on the south-east coast of England for a tour, and chat, before signing his first two limited editions published by Hypergallery.

Marsh had built a hugely successful career as an illustrator and designer in London, living in the capital for over 40 years, along with his wife Avril, before they moved down to the south coast in 2000.

His association with the music business began with Pye Records, then Decca, then with Alan Aldridge at Ink Studios. Recalling these days prompted Marsh to dig out a copy of Aldridge’s Beatles Illustrated Lyrics (for which he was a major contributor) and we reminisced for a while, leafing through the book.

Every room in the house is a little gallery. One salon-like room given over to elegant paintings and sculptures, another dedicated to a vast collection of ‘found’ objects acquired from car boot sales, junk shops or beach-combing.

As we made our way up the stairs and through the house, more pictures seduced us; works by Marsh and works by fellow artists, collected over the years.

The renovation of the house took over eighteen months and included a conversion of the second floor into an open-plan work-space; a stunning room with views to the sea.

Marsh’s love of music and books is in evidence wherever your eye roams, yet it is a peaceful and stimulating place in which to work.

We were also there for a signing session of two editions published by Hypergallery; cover art from the iconic Talk Talk debut album The Party’s Over and from their 1986 album Colour of Spring. Having been associated with the band since their beginning, Marsh's distinct style of illustration is very much a part of their legacy.

Hypergallery has subsequently worked with Marsh on two more Talk Talk prints, Laughing Stock and It's My Life, in anticipation of A Celebration of Talk Talk and Mark Hollis at the Royal Festival Hall, London,  on 26 Nov 2019. Following the death of lead singer and chief songwriter Mark Hollis earlier this year, Southbank Centre in partnership with Eat Your Own Ears have curated a line-up of musicians and singers to perform in tribute. You can see details here, though it has already sold out.

If you were lucky enough to get a ticket, you will find us in the foyer exhibiting our four Talk Talk editions; The Party’s OverColour of SpringLaughing Stock and It's My Life along with the two silkscreen editions; Spirit of Eden and After The Flood. Hope to meet you there!

Both new prints are now available, exclusively from Hypergallery.