Review of Timorous Beasties in London
Taking its name from a line in the Robert Burns poem, ‘To a Mouse,’ Glaswegian design studio Timorous Beasties was founded in 1990. Now with showrooms in both London and Glasgow, owners Alistair McAuley and Paul Simmons are steadily spreading the word of their twisted, iconoclastic print design. Having taken commissions from both the Victoria & Albert Museum and The Supreme Court in the past, their work clearly has the stamp of approval from the heavyweight institutions. Updating the classic toile fabrics of Napoleonic France, Timorous Beasties adds a contemporary urban reality to historic patterns. The showroom – just a block from Sadler’s Wells Theatre – displays this urban reality in its own famous screen-printed Glasgow and London toiles. Modern landmarks are juxtaposed against visions of urban decay, which has prompted some to describe the Timorous Beasties style as “William Morris on acid.” Part showroom and part art gallery, you could spend hours gazing through the collection, and if you have the time, then why not?