Art

A Big Issue-inspired design has helped a reader scoop a wood engraving prize

Maggie Storm’s remarkable art piece won a Society of Wood Engravers gong and even gave half of her winnings to Crisis

Wood engraving Maggie Storm

A Big Issue reader was so inspired by the work Big Issue vendors do out on the streets every day that she made it a focus of her wood engraving work and scooped a prize for the eye-catching design.

Maggie Storm used the printmaking technique to portray her daughter holding a Big Issue magazine at a railway station while commuters rush by, evoking the loneliness that vendors can face while selling the magazine.

She entered the design into the Society of Wood Engravers’ (SWE) new ‘Print with a Point’ prize which encourages artists to use wood engraving techniques to get across a socio-political theme.

Maggie Storm wood engraving
Maggie-Storm-Big-Issue-wood-engraver
Maggie used wood engraving to show the difference in movement between commuters and the static figure

Maggie’s effort scooped the £200 top prize, which will see her work featured on the front of the SWE’s journal and she has donated half of her winnings to homelessness charity Crisis.

“I’ve always been a Big Issue reader and I know it is a common thing that people rush by vendors or avoid them,” said Maggie, who is the Multiples Editor of SWE.

“I think a lot of people don’t realise that it is a “hand up not a hand out” and I think that they don’t realise that vendors have to buy the magazine to sell them. I’m always banging that drum and that’s how the piece came about.

“As part of the technique of wood engraving, I was trying to get across the idea of a static image and moving image, that is technically what it is about. Most wood engraving is very static – it’s mostly landscapes and trees, that sort of thing – so I was trying to get this feeling of movement across as my message.”

Enthusiast Maggie has created 15 prints of her Big Issue design with some available to buy from the SWE website.

SWE will be celebrating their 100th anniversary next year and Maggie insists that printmaking is having something of a moment with younger generations.

“I only came to wood engraving five or six years ago and it is a big regret to me that I didn’t discover it when I was younger,” she told The Big Issue. “It’s something that people take up in retirement if they are lucky enough to find it. But there has been a huge resurgence in the amount of younger people getting into printmaking as a whole recently so it’s starting to move across the generations.”

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
'Each brush tells a story of hope': Homeless artist hosts exhibition to help himself off the streets
homeless artist David Bedford
Homelessness

'Each brush tells a story of hope': Homeless artist hosts exhibition to help himself off the streets

Those wounded by the Troubles still walk among us. Their pain is as relevant today as ever
Art

Those wounded by the Troubles still walk among us. Their pain is as relevant today as ever

Artist Aasen Stephenson turns leaves into astounding works of art: 'Nothing beats what nature makes'
The Leaf Man at work in his studio
Art

Artist Aasen Stephenson turns leaves into astounding works of art: 'Nothing beats what nature makes'

Artist Ray Young: 'Our government is threatening disabled people's rights – there's no compassion'
Theatre

Artist Ray Young: 'Our government is threatening disabled people's rights – there's no compassion'

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know