Joe and Helen Lycett were always bound to join forces creatively. Joe, a British comedian, presenter, and painter – also known by the moniker Mummy – grew up surrounded by visual media, thanks in part to his mum Helen’s graphic design work. “I have always been around it. Photoshop was always open and Illustrator was always around on laptops and desktops,” he told CR earlier this year.
Now, Joe has announced the opening of a new exhibition in collaboration with Helen – or Mummy’s Mummy – who it turns out is a dab hand at painting, too. Hosted by They Made This gallery in London, the show consists of a multimedia mix of artworks by the duo, marking their second ever joint exhibition.
Inside, visitors will find a range of new and archival work, including Helen’s collection of punchy watercolour portraits and nudes, as well as Joe’s bold, playful acrylic paintings. Disparate in style, the duo’s respective works are brought clashing together, with Helen’s displaying a more traditional approach, and Joe’s marked by a distinctly irreverent sense of humour and a contemporary feel.
The Lycetts have also collaborated on specific paintings, including the piece shown in the exhibition poster. Helen recalled how her son first pitched the idea: “‘Let’s have a joint exhibition,’ he said. ‘I’ll just add a few finishing touches to some of your paintings,’ he didn’t say.”
Despite the artistic rivalry, the pair have come together to create some eye-catching pieces. As might be expected, the figurative aspect of the artwork feels stylistically aligned with Helen’s own portraits, while the whimsical pops of colour and expression feel visually similar to Joe’s work.
Limited edition screen, giclee and indigo prints will be on sale at the exhibition, along with a selection of ceramics by Joe, fabric adorned with Helen’s floral artworks, and a handful of original paintings. The gallery will also play host to several free screenprinting workshops, with participants able to take home an A4 print by Helen and Joe, as well as an Art Tombola which offers entrants the chance to win editioned and signed prints.
Reflecting on the process, Joe says: “Despite an angry and bitter personal relationship, Mum and I have a deep mutual respect for our artworks. We are delighted to share these works which should help pay for ongoing family legal disputes.”
Lycett & Mummy is on show at They Made This gallery, London until October 1; theymadethis.co.uk