Cherie Did This: Shrewsbury Coffeehouse

A self-portrait by the talented Cherie Jerrard, entitled "Me - Crosslegged"I first met Cherie Jerrard at last year’s Cup North, although we had corresponded beforehand over a period of a couple of months. Cherie is a talented illustrator who has turned her hand to capturing scenes of every day café culture. I find her work endlessly fascinating and very much a contrast to what I do with my photo galleries, although we each, in our own ways, try to tell a story.

I am a very literal photographer: I tend to take pictures to show you what something looks like. Cherie goes one step further with her work; in a single illustration, she captures multiple aspects of a scene. I appreciate this isn’t a great description of what Cherie does, but if it was easy to describe, she wouldn’t have to go to all the trouble of drawing it…

I’ve been following Cherie on social media for the last few months, admiring her work on twitter, Instagram and on her blog, but I’d never seen the works in the flesh so to speak. So, when Cherie arranged to have her work exhibited at the Shrewsbury Coffeehouse, I knew I had to take a look in person…

You can see what I found in the gallery.

  • The talented Cherie Gerrard currently has an exhibtion at the Shrewsbury Coffeehouse.
  • The Shrewsbury Coffeehouse, showing Cherie's work on the wall upstairs.
  • Another view, looking across from the counter. In all, Cherie has ten works hanging upstairs.
  • From left to right, we start with Manchester's Foundation Coffee House on the back wall.
  • The middle one of these five is of the Shrewsbury Coffeehouse itsef.
  • Meanwhile, there's another of the Foundation Coffee House on the far right...
  • ... while the one in the middle here is of the Brooklyn Roasting Company on Jay Street.
  • There's more downstairs, by the way. These five occupy the left-hand and back walls.
  • Here's a second of the Shrewsbury Coffeehouse in pride of place at the bottom of the stairs,
  • In addition to those five, there are two more. This one hangs above an armchair in a nook...
  • ...and is of London's Fernandez & Wells in Somerset House.
  • Finally, another of the Brooklyn Roasting Company is tucked away by the stairs.
The talented Cherie Gerrard currently has an exhibtion at the Shrewsbury Coffeehouse.1 The Shrewsbury Coffeehouse, showing Cherie's work on the wall upstairs.2 Another view, looking across from the counter. In all, Cherie has ten works hanging upstairs.3 From left to right, we start with Manchester's Foundation Coffee House on the back wall.4 The middle one of these five is of the Shrewsbury Coffeehouse itsef.5 Meanwhile, there's another of the Foundation Coffee House on the far right...6 ... while the one in the middle here is of the Brooklyn Roasting Company on Jay Street.7 There's more downstairs, by the way. These five occupy the left-hand and back walls.8 Here's a second of the Shrewsbury Coffeehouse in pride of place at the bottom of the stairs,9 In addition to those five, there are two more. This one hangs above an armchair in a nook...10 ...and is of London's Fernandez & Wells in Somerset House.11 Finally, another of the Brooklyn Roasting Company is tucked away by the stairs.12
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Cherie draws scenes of every day café culture, often combining her sketching with photography, something I’ve not seen before. She also tends to mix multiple perspectives and/or multiple time-frames, so rather than an illustration being a single snapshot of the café at a specific moment in time, it’s more of a story in itself. Another of Cherie’s techniques is to intersperse her work with quotes and snippets of conversations that she’s overheard while making her sketches, which adds another yet dimension. You can read more about Cherie’s work (in her own words) in an interview she gave to Urban Sketchers.

Like the Coffee Spot, Cherie travels to sketch café life around the country and beyond. You’ll find works from her home town on Shrewsbury, including the Shrewsbury Coffeehouse, as well as Manchester, where Cherie completed an MA in Illustration last year. She’s drawn some of my favourite places in Manchester, such as Grindsmith on Deansgate. Cherie has also gone further afield, including to London, where she’s illustrated café life in the likes of Fernandez & Wells, in Somerset House.

At the end of last year, Cherie travelled to New York and, naturally, her trusty sketch book and pens went with her. When we met at Cup North, Cherie picked my brains for good places to sketch, so I was particularly pleased to see illustrations in the exhibition from the Brooklyn Roasting Company on Jay Street, as well as various New York and Brooklyn diners.

Hopefully I’ve whetted your appetite: if I have, you’ve got until the end of February to catch Cherie’s exhibition “Cherie Did This: Reportage Illustrations Documenting The Cafe Culture Of Our Time” at the Shrewsbury Coffeehouse. Failing that, you’ll have another chance to see the exhibition in April at Manchester’s Ancoats Coffee in the Royal Mills. If you can’t wait until then, Cherie’s also produced a newspaper which you can buy on-line and you can see a large-scale installation of one of her illustrations at Grindsmith on Deansgate.

If you would like Cherie to illustrate your coffee shop or if you would like to host an exhibition of her work, then I’m sure she would be happy to oblige. You can find her contact details on her website.

5 CASTLE GATES • SHREWSBURY • SY1 2AE
http://shrewsburycoffeehouse.co.uk +44 (0) 1743 242 610
Monday 07:30 – 19:00 Roaster Has Bean (espresso only)
Tuesday 07:30 – 19:00 Seating Tables, Bar, Sofas (upstairs/downstairs)
Wednesday 07:30 – 19:00 Food Sandwiches, Cake
Thursday 07:30 – 19:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 07:30 – 19:00 Cards Amex, Visa, Mastercard
Saturday 08:00 – 19:00 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday 10:00 – 16:00 Power Yes
Chain No Visits 5th February 2016

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