Pubs across the country are often named after animals, trade tools and even reference the alcoholic elements of the drinks they serve.
In the past, found objects, such as an old boot or copper kettle were hung above the public house have also been known to act as a sign. So there was no problem for those who couldn’t read or were too drunk to see the establishment before them.
Celebrating the art of the pub sign, painters, printers and illustrators have each created their own to be displayed in an exhibition at The Lauriston, Victoria Park Road.
With typography being a core element to the design, artists who were up for the challenge answered the Double Vision brief put out by curator, Mr Gresty.
Mr Gresty said: “The target of Double Vision is to create a strong image that brings together two things that a thirsty and illiterate onlooker could identify.”
The sixteen artists selected did not only have to be “creative minded” but also had to have a sense of humour.
One such artist, VJ Von, has created a piece called The Cock and The Pussy. Designed in true, British pub-sign style she playfully uses the famous image of the “Grumpy Cat” that went viral on the internet. Von believes art is a game, and an essential part of her practise is having fun and exploring.
Von said the Double Vision brief was very close to her heart.
She said: “I love fun art with a hint of cheekiness and irony and British Pub signs offer a best formula for a great piece of art.
“I think I just want people to have fun – that’s why we go to the pub, don’t we?”
Another artist, Dylan White, works in animation and currently supervises post production on a children’s show.
White’s piece, Black + Tan references the traditional 50/50 mix of pale ale and stout, which he thought fitting for the brief. It’s also personal, as White said his Irish relatives told him “awful tales” about the stuff.
Mr Gresty, who has been putting on LHR exhibitions since 2013, works with artists who he admires and by showing their work in the pubs, hopes to raise their profile.
A keen collector of objects, Gresty said he hopes the viewer look upon the work in the exhibition, as he does when he looks at his badges and rulers he keeps at home.
He said: “What interests me most in a collection is the comparisons and contrasts of the solutions of creative minds.”
Double Vision opens 7th March and runs until May. For more information see the Facebook page.