Eliza Southwood | Cycling Illustrations | Wilton Way Cafe | East London

Teaming up with Hackney based architect-turned-illustrator Eliza Southwood has outfitted Wilton Way Café with a host of bicycle-inspired drawings, prints and ephemera for a new exhibition celebrating cycle culture and sport | The London-based artist’s vibrant retro aesthetic sets the tone for a quick look at the history of cycling, which includes old-school posters and an original “Opperman” BSA racing fixie suspended from the ceiling, a model used during the pivotal 1931 race from John O’Groats to Land’s End | Fascinated with Major Taylor, an early pioneer of American cycling, Southwood recently created a series depicting the Civil War-era champion in various racing moments, including a notorious one-mile championship in 1899 where he competed against rival Tom Butler | Southwood’s cheerful colour palette smartly balances such historically intense moments in cycling, but her trained eye for technical drawing keeps each portrait from feeling inappropriately animated | Home to London Fields Radio and the maker of one of Hackney’s meanest coffees around (with beans from local roasters like Climpson & Sons), the Wilton Way Cafe is an ideal spot take in Southwood’s cycle-inspired illustrations, which will be on view throughout August 2012.

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