About Jonny Hannah: Main Street

YSP invited visitors to take a stroll down Main Street in Jonny Hannah’s vintage-inspired homage to the independent trader.

Transforming YSP Centre, Jonny Hannah: Main Street featured three pop-up shops made entirely from the artist’s 2D and 3D artworks, all of which were available to buy. The public was invited to navigate Main Street using Hannah’s traditional hand-painted signs suspended above the YSP Centre concourse; natter with the owner of the Record Store; and nip to The Hand and Heart junk shop to pick up anything your heart desires!

The exhibition – a tribute to high streets of the past, lined with independent retailers stocking an assortment of curiosities – featured a collection of new linocuts, screen prints, and paintings. Incorporating strong colours and typography, and inspired by Hannah’s love of jazz music, the works were reminiscent of 1940s shop signs and concert posters. The exhibition also featured Heavy Wool Products Come to McVouty’s – a limited edition screen print printed at The Penfold Press in Selby, created exclusively for YSP – together with a small hand-painted and printed edition of unique wooden ukuleles.

Born and bred in Dunfermline, Jonny Hannah studied Graphic Arts and Illustration at Liverpool Art School and later Illustration at the Royal College of Art, graduating in 1998. He is now a lecturer for the BA Illustration course at Solent University, Southampton, and continues to work as a printmaker, creating screen-printed books, posters and prints for his own business Cakes & Ale Press. Hannah also works as a commercial illustrator for clients such as The Sunday Telegraph, The New York Times, English National Opera and Penguin books. The artist worked with London-based animation company Sherbet on Charles Bukowski’s The Man with Beautiful Eyes, which won the Best Short Animation award at the 2000 BAFTA ceremony.

Two special new products launched with the show: Fast Cars and Ukuleles: A Jonny Hannah A to Z, a limited edition hardback publication published by The Mainstone Press, Norwich, and Songs from the Mermaid Café Jukebox, a limited edition CD of music, curated and packaged by Hannah with St Jude’s, under their Random Spectacular imprint.  

Hannah designed his first ever range of merchandise to accompany the exhibition, including a tin mug, hand-screen printed notebook, tote bag and cotton scarf.