One of our lovely Shop suppliers was recently commissioned to create a bespoke piece for ‘Rebuild Our Home’ on ITV. We spoke to Roo from Roo Abrook about their work and what the project meant to them.

Tell us about your work

Roo Abrook produces beautifully hand drawn studies and illustrations which are upcycled onto gorgeous Antique dictionary book pages from 1860. These art prints are special in the fact that each one is unique. Inspiration is taken from nature, wildlife and we love dogs & cats, tattoo designs, the circus and Victorian curiosity.

How were you approached to be on ‘Rebuild Our Home’?

We were initially approached in late July 2014 by London based RDF Television, after Georgia May from their production team had seen our Antique dictionary book page prints and tracked us down. It was then outlined to us that ITV were producing a show called 'Rebuild Our Home' presented by Nicky Campbell and designer Julia Kendell, about the re-building of Mary and Joe Bruce's house in Glasgow, which was engulfed in flames on Christmas Day 2014. The programme was to cover the devastation caused by the fire (both emotionally and physically) and the subsequent restoration into a new home for the retired couple.

The initial proposal from Producer/Director Maia Liddell intrigued us and we immediately felt it was something we wanted to be part of.

How did the final piece come about?

The brief we were given was to design a bespoke artpiece, containing salvaged and restored, cherished family photographs (all thought to have perished in the fire). For the focal point of the design we were able to use a beautiful picture of Mary and Joe together on their wedding day. Other photographs included their 2 sons and an extended family day trip to the seaside. Alongside these images we digitally collaged some of our own individually hand drawn studies, photography, illustrations and textural artwork to give an overall feeling of a nostalgic family scrapbook album. The final artwork was then sent to London, where Maia and her team had it framed for Julia to hang in Mary and Joe's newly refurbished Glaswegian home.

How did it feel to be a part of this project?

At the end of the show, the artwork was unveiled to an emotional Mary and Joe as they walked into their new front room. It was very moving to see their reaction and we were so happy that they liked it!

Either side of the main piece were two framed book page prints that Julia felt complimented it. These two prints (antique sewing machine & Victorian dome with butterflies) were coincidentally printed on a dictionary that was printed in Glasgow in 1860.

It was a really lovely project to be involved in and working with Julia Kendell and the show's production team especially Producer/Director Maia Liddell who was amazing. The show fits in perfectly with how we feel about the positivity of community spirit.

A selection of Roo Abrook’s art works are available to buy in our Shop.

Images © Roo Abrook.