The Secret Life of the Pencil

Sir Paul Smith pencilThey might look like your average 2B, but these humble pencils have penned prize-winning words, drawn up plans for life changing gadgets, sketched the beginnings of coveted collections of clothing and captured for prosperity moments where cameras were not allowed. Paulo Coelho once wrote of the pencil that it “always leaves a mark. In just the same way, you should know that everything you do in life will leave a mark” – none more so than the owners of this eclectic assembly.

A unique photography project by Alex Hammond and Mike Tinney reveals the secrets within the pencils of some very well known names. The pencils are depicted in striking detail using an innovative and beautiful photographic technique. From Louis de Bernieres and Alexander McCall Smith to Quentin Blake, Stephen Fry, Sir James Dyson and Philippe Starck, this is a truly unique representation of some of the world’s leading creatives.

Hosted by fashion designer Sir Paul Smith (whose own pencil will feature in the show) at his Mayfair store, the exhibition will run for two weeks from this Wednesday. Limited edition prints will be available to buy, whilst single-edition framed prints (alongside the donated celebrity pencils) will be offered through a silent auction, with all proceeds going to Children in Crisis. The pencil is such a simple tool, but for the children who the charity supports, it is a means to reveal their ambitions, hopes and dreams; an opportunity to make their mark and write themselves into the world.

Pencil it into your diary now: this is one date you really don’t want to miss.

20 May to 3 June. 9 Albemarle Street, W1S