Meet the makers: Kaylene Alder

Makerhoodie Kaylene describes herself as a “displaced/misplaced Canadian who has found a home in good ole Londontown”.  She lives in Brixton with her husband and two cats, Fury and Kafka, who were very keen to be part of this interview, as you can see from the photo!

kaylene-alder2Every month Kaylene provides an illustration for Brixton Bugle, based on an idea suggested by a reader, and her first solo exhibition “for some time” is about to open at Studio 73 in Brixton Village. Kaylene also illustrated the newly published Recipes from Brixton Village, written by Miss South, another Bugle contributor.

How did you get involved with the recipe book?

I got called by the publisher, who saw my stuff in the Bugle. Although Miss South also writes for the Bugle, I didn’t know her before this. We sat in the market and had a chat, took photos of the traders and chatted to everyone. They gave me a list of what they wanted, I did about 50 illustrations and just handed them over. So I didn’t see what the book looked like till it was published!

Have you tried any of the recipes yet?

I’m not yet convinced by African land snails! But I really like Asian food, so I’ll probably try the recipes from KaoSarn and Okan first.

Tell us about your exhibition.

The theme is “Ships in Small Water”. A friend suggested the idea, and it appealed to me because it’s a bit funny. I’ve done seven screen prints and it’s been a challenge! I’m still learning about screen printing, and I decided to do them on brown paper, which is thin, and it rolls up, it’s slippery, it moves around – it’s very fiddly! And they’re all three colours, so with seven prints that’s 21 layers! But I’m very happy with how they’ve come out.

So it’s been a very busy time for you.

Yes – because I work as an art teacher four days a week so I do the printing after work and at weekends. Recently, I’ve been illustrating educational materials for the South London Botanical Institute but have otherwise had a bit of time to think about new work and this exhibition which has been great.

Recipes from Brixton Village is available at Brixton Village, good local booksellers and direct from Kitchen Press, price £15.99.

“Ships in Small Water” is at Studio 73, Brixton Village, from 19 to 28 May.

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