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Smiles, skulls and scribbles at launch of new Rough Hands illustration show

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Words and pictures: Tom Jones

It was a full house at Rough Hands coffee shop in Five Valleys Shopping Centre.

A veritable who’s-who of Stroud illustrators, artists, framers and hangers-on came to celebrate the launch of a new exhibition by Rodborough-based illustrator Charlie Mellors.

Mellors, co-founder of Flabby Dagger Magazine is known for his artwork inspired by an eclectic array of influences; American writer and illustrator Edward Gorey, German printmaker and painter Albrecht Dürer and graphic skateboard artist Jimbo Philips.

Click through Tom Jones’ gallery

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His exhibition explores the darker side of illustration and continues throughout October, closing on Halloween. The works on show include tongue-in-cheek illustrations produced for prints, zines, stickers, and posters throughout an artistic career that spans more than twenty years. Frames were supplied by Dabyshire picture framers in Stonehouse.

Charlie said: “It has been amazing to have the support of so many friends, colleagues and collaborators past-and-present in putting the show together. I am so grateful to everyone who came down for the launch, but my special thanks must go to Sam at Rough Hands who couldn’t have been more supportive as I put the show together. I thought the month leading up to Halloween was the perfect time to showcase my chilling work to the folk of Stroud.”

Sam Humphris, owner of Rough Hands, said: “Charlie has supported me from when I first opened Rough Hands in 2021, so I’m pleased to be supporting him in some way in return. His work really matches the energy of the shop and after a lot of talking of working together, I’m super pleased to have him exhibiting! All are welcome to come down to Rough Hands and enjoy Charlie’s spooky artistic output between now and Halloween.”

Attendees at the launch had their thirsts ‘murdered’ by Liquid Death, a water brand whose aesthetic is skull themed. Thanks also for pale ale supplied by local craft beer legends Deya brewery of Cheltenham.

For more on Charlie’s work see https://www.sharpenedteeth.com or @sharpenedteeth on Instagram

For more on Rough Hands, see https://roughhandscoffee.co.uk/

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