In their Kentish Town studio, Dominic Mallin and Laura McEwen create three dimensional, mixed media collages of historic buildings “with character, personality and distinctive, bold typographic elements”. Their brilliant image of K-Town’s iconic grade II-listed shopfront graced this month’s front cover of our print issue.
Who are you?
We’re Laura, a theatre set and costume designer, and Dominic, a graphic designer. Twelve years ago we left uni in Nottingham and moved to north London, but our first flat was small so we were soon looking for a creative workspace to use. Laura saw an advert in Mario’s Cafe for a shared art studio on Bartholomew Villas: she’s now been based there ten years sharing with three other artists.
What did Blustons mean to you?
As costume designer, Laura was always interested in the range of vintage fashions in the window and Dominic loves the iconic type. And the polka dot dress was our favourite thing on Kentish Town Road.
What do you make of the current Ted Baker installation?
It reflects the industry that used to be there. We hope whoever the future tenant is does the same too, and retains the presence of what Blustons has always been to the high street.
What are your other favourite buildings around?
The colourful terrace of Falkland Road, especially against a blue sky; Circa 48 Picture Framer’s on Brecknock Road, which is like stepping back in time; the Bull and Gate, a beautifully preserved public house; and the swimming baths on Prince of Wales Road.
They were a collaboration between our two art forms: Dom’s love of typography and photography combined with Laura’s fascination with model making and creating miniature three dimensional worlds. We are really interested in the idea of disappearing London and what we are losing to modern redevelopment. One of our first collages was of the Continental Cafe on Highgate Road which has now gone. Obviously we’ve lost Blustons now too. We started a series which captures the spirit of vintage London, part of the history of the community. It’s a means of preserving an image of what we have here and now.
Where do you hang out?
At the moment we’re experts at hanging out in local playgrounds as we have two little ones, but in the days before we were parents we always enjoyed the pub quiz at the Prince Albert, breakfast at Mario’s and gigs at The Forum.
Tell us a secret about NW5.
Just behind the Job Centre on the high street, Laura’s studio is home to a small creative community including a painter, ceramicist, two printmakers, a visual artist, architects, photographer and a metal worker and sculptor.