Stuart Kemp is an artist who creates bespoke works using pin badges on canvas. It is called a Memory Pop because each piece is a stunning visual biography of an individual, extraordinary life.
A Memory Pop is composed of thousands of images of the moments, people and places beloved to you, from books to bars, food and films to childhood chocolate bars.
It is created through a series of conversations with the artist face to face, over the telephone or via email. It takes three months from commission to delivery.
Stuart, a one-time ice-cream truck driver in Chicago, has 25 years experience as a journalist, a job that gave him the chance to talk to people and discover a little about their lives beyond their title. (It also gave him a back pocket full of anecdotes, including one involving a dogtooth jacket, Hugh Grant and the Hotel du Cap that his wife forbids him to tell any more, and another about Elton John his mum is keen on.)
Born in Edinburgh, Stuart now lives in south London. His first Memory Pop is a source of great joy and taught him a lesson useful for subsequent commissions: Pin the badges with the really bad swear words at the top of the canvas. It’s amazing how quickly the children find those if you don’t.
I love seeing my family reflected in it and am astounded by the size, scale and emotional depth of it.
The art opens up a lot of things that you probably thought you didn’t remember anymore… six months on I still see things in it that are new. It is continually entertaining and a lot of fun to participate in.
It was good to rake over some coals and it’s very surprising at the grand reveal just how much ground was covered. I shed a tear, almost.
A riotous mix of the trivial and the deeply personal. Stuart has a knack for finding stylish, quirky, or often very funny ways of capturing the myriad influences in your life.
Private and corporate commissions from £5,000.
If you would like to discuss your own Memory Pop, a gift for someone, or a unique installation for an office, please get in touch.