Fire Station Residency
Gillian Blease is a British artist and illustrator. After completing her residency at the Fire Station, Gillian made the move into freelance illustrating, working for clients including The Guardian, The Economist, the Financial Times, Waitrose Magazine, Wired, the Trades Union Congress, Random House Publishing, the Southbank Centre, and the Natural History Musem.
Gillian’s transition into illustration commissions was spurred by an October 1998 PEER project featuring unattributed illustrations by Drew Milne, Richard Wentworth and Gillian herself in The Spectator and The New Statesman. Titled Political Homeopathy, this short series of published print interventions observed the presence of art and artifice in political discourse by covertly inserting images as subtle commentary into widely-read news media outlets.
Gillian’s style is bold and colourful, very graphic and mostly conceptual. In recent years she has begun to introduce hand drawn texture into her work and is enjoying a return to brushes and paint. As well as producing digital illustrations, she has begun to develop her own patterns to be used on book covers, table mats and now concrete tiles.
Fire Station Residency 1997-2001
Acme's residency at the Fire Station is one of the most directly supportive schemes for artists in the United Kingdom, providing combined studio and living space at low rents, as well as a half rent residency for a deaf or disabled artist. This fixed-term residency scheme is intended to allow artists more time to concentrate on the development of their work and professional careers, and less time working to survive. 1997-2001 residents were selected by artists Tracy McKenna, Cornelia Parker, Adam Reynolds, and Acme co-founder Jonathan Harvey.