Retrospective: Design Works by Illya Furlonge-Walker
"Slow Wine", a conceptual sketch from the notebooks of Illya Furlonge-Walker
Illya Furlonge-Walker (1967-2006) pursued graphic design with one eye on the classic line-work of Lubalin and Chermayeff and another on the liberating potential of the computer. His work was perfectly capable of speaking for itself, but in a world cluttered with faux art and computer assisted design, Illya articulated his vision with increasing fluency and persuasive power to a growing range of clients who benefited from his passion for clarity in communication.
In a short but intense life, he began as a freelancer, hand-painting stylish and witty t-shirt designs that embraced the styles of the day and deftly turned them upside down with his quirky sense of irony. He went on to work in television, styling computer graphics for the new CCN TV6, pushed further into graphic design, and finally, paring away all except the essential, settled into adulthood as a father and husband, founding Form and Function Design as the vehicle for his vision of art in the service of commerce.
His legacy is a remarkable and mature collection of corporate ID designs, annual reports, posters, and album jackets that demarcate a high-water mark in the design evolution of Trinidad and Tobago. He was influenced in his career path by the photographer Mark Lyndersay, and artists and designers Eddie Bowen, Steve Ouditt, Christopher Cozier, and Russel Halfhide.
A retrospective of Illya Furlonge-Walker's work, from completed design marks and annual reports to quirky sketch materials and concept ideas from his many notebooks, will be on display at Form and Function Design, 5B Gaston Johnston Street, Woodbrook, from 17 to 26 October, 2006. The exhibition, curated by Mark Lyndersay, opens with an informal launch on Tuesday 17 October at 6.30 pm.
Illya Furlonge-Walker, photographed by Mark Lyndersay