We’re turning 5! In the final edition of three deep dives into the artists we’ve hand-picked to celebrate 5 years of Melodic Distraction with us, we chat to Doing Bits Studio’s, Abby Bird.
We first linked up with Abby back in 2019 for the Refreshments x Melodic Distraction tee – an instant sure shot that got us hooked on the idea of working with her again, as soon as possible. Thankfully, our 5th birthday rolled around and the stars aligned once again.
In her 5th Birthday design, Abby captures the importance Melodic Distraction has (especially in these unprecedented times) in keeping people connected and a part of one picture.
As Abby tells us: “I wanted to capture that sense of community and included the slogan ‘Together Wherever’. The illustration depicts the various situations and scenarios people find themselves in listening or contributing to the station.”
“As well as including my consistent illustrative style that you’ve seen on Refreshments x Melodic Distraction collaboration was inspired by 70s graphics – think funk n soul posters and classic wave forms.”
Abby is currently finishing her masters in architecture at Central Saint Martins, where she’s working on a project to improve social infrastructure and empower residents of existing council owned housing estates in South East London: “As part of this, I’ve been focusing on how activity centred around food growing and eating can improve people’s quality of lives and alleviate inequality. My research has covered the many ways we can mobilise action, and has allowed me to test the power of both strategic mapping and one-off fleeting spectacles. From drawing the activities of public spaces to organising a street party with some striking gold additions to the public realm.”
Abby is also 1/2 of Doing Bits Studio – a partnership formed with Mollie Griffiths that has helped the pair design, built & manage a range of installations, workshops and events: “These cover a real mix – from building a mobile screen print station for Square Pegs x Parent Folk to an interactive installation focused on the social integration of asylum seekers and refugees. One of our earliest collaborations with Refreshments was a time machine powered by drawing, projections and distorted sounds for Light Night at Black Lodge Brewery. Generally, we formed this as a way to get out and start making things happen, and have some fun along the way.”
Alongside her work at Central Saint Martins and Doing Bits, Abby has also spent two years working on Park Palace Ponies; converting a disused theatre in Dingle, Liverpool into an inner-city riding school. The community ethos and social values running through her work also extended to her time spent with with Growing Sudley in Mossley Hill; a social enterprise focused on intergenerational activity, such as forest schools and horticultural therapy, in a historic walled garden. Be sure to keep an eye out for some new illustrations Abby is currently working on for them.
To find out more about the work Abby does and to reach out about any collaborations, visit her site, linked below.
|| ABBY BIRD ||
|| DOING BITS ||