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MEET: Donald Short

EMILY PARKES meets talented Dorset-based artist, Donald Short. Donald uses the blue print technique to create attractive, unique and original 'Blue Print' artwork.

 Donald Short

When asked about his formal education, Donald humbly says, "I studied Fine Art at college." He trained at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, London and gained an MA in Fine Art at the Arts University, Bournemouth in 2008. He is currently based in Dorset and teaches in Oxford. His Blue Prints have been featured in The Times, The Sunday Times and the website ‘Retro to Go'.

In creating his innovative stand out business, Donald explains, "I designed a product, Blue Print. Attractive prints for very little money, using a previously redundant technique, and there is nothing like them anywhere else in the saturated art market!". Having learnt the cyanotype process while studying for an MA in 2008, Donald embarked on a commercial project to produce affordable and desirable prints that reflected his interest in 20th Century architecture and design. Blue Print is part of a wider artistic practice for which he has won recognition in recent years, most notably being shortlisted for the Lynn Painter-Stainer’s Prize in 2010.

51 Chairs, www.donaldshort.co.uk

Describing his work setting, he says, "For the Blue Prints - very organised, large and clean. Not so my painting studio, which is cramped and messy." He has in fact, just produced a limited edition commemorative set of five prints to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain. In his print studio, Donald has combined the blueprint (cyanotype) process with iconic symbols and imagery of the 1951 festival, such as Ernest Race’s ‘Antelope’ chair, Abram Games’ Britannia festival emblem and the Festival titling by Phillip Boydell. All are beautifully represented in this limited edition series.

Skylon, www.donaldshort.co.uk

Asked what has been inspiring him lately, Donald says, "Bach's Preludes and Fugues, and my collection of 'Homemaker' books from the 50s and 60s". In terms of his favourite artists and designers, "Manet, Veronese, Titian, Charles Holden, Berthold Lubetkin. Adrian Frutiger, Saul Bass, Robert Rauchenberg".

Towards a new Britain, www.donaldshort.co.uk

Contemporary 1, www.donaldshort.co.uk

If you would like to see anymore of Donald's Blue Print work, please visit his website.