About Chrissie
I’m an illustrator, maker and art director based in London and work with photographers to create images for clients such as the V&A, Orange, The New York Times, Creative Review and Wallpaper*. As part of Peepshow Collective I work collaboratively with the other members on exhibitions, animation and installation projects. Portrait by Jenny Lewis.
http://www.chrissiemacdonald.co.uk
Current city: London
I’m an illustrator, maker and art director based in London and work with photographers to create images for clients such as the V&A, Orange, The New York Times, Creative Review and Wallpaper*. As part of Peepshow Collective I work collaboratively with the other members on exhibitions, animation and installation projects. Portrait by Jenny Lewis.
 
I go to the Heath every weekend (often via the wonderful Waterlow Park which skirts Highgate Cemetery) and during the week too if I’m working from home; it helps to put things in perspective when I’m thinking about my work. It’s great in the summer for obvious reasons but I love it the most in autumn and on those rare days it snows so much London grinds to a halt (which doesn’t take much). Everyone heads up there to make giant snowballs/cats/creatures and surf down Parliament Hill on anything they can get their hands on. Grown ups turn into kids for the day. My husband and I made this snow yeti last year, it was sad to leave him behind but he soon made friends and even made it into the Camden New Journal.
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I love this building and always visit if I’m in the area to look at their great window displays, travel up in the beautiful wood paneled lift and wander down the creaky oak staircase. The exterior and interior woodwork is from two old Men-of-War ships, the flooring made from their deck timbers. I normally head straight to the fabric department to see what new seasonal prints they have in, though only buy a metre’s worth so not quite sure what I’ll ever make from them. My most treasured prints are those designed by Grayson Perry of polluted factories, teddy bears, knuckle-dusters and hand grenades. They also sell oversized gift coins produced by the Royal Mint and packaged beautifully in a velvet pouch, which appeal to my love of all things out-sized.
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The Roundhouse was built as a steam-engine repair shed in 1846, and then became a warehouse before falling into disuse for 25 years and reopening as a performing arts venue in 1964 hosting acts like Jimi Hendrix, The Doors and Pink Floyd. It was redeveloped between 2004-2006 and is one of my favourite music venues in London; it’s a beautiful building, has a great sound and isn’t too huge so feels fairly intimate. Some highlights for me this year were The Flaming Lips, David Byrne & St.Vincent and the Timepiece installation by Conrad Shawcross.
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I spend many hours in the bookshops along this stretch, namely Henry Pordes for second hand books and new discounted titles (pile on left of photo), as well as Koenig Books for new art books with lots of great discounts in the basement. (photo right). In 2001 the rents for much of this strip were increased to align them closer to market value but thanks to public support they were reduced again. Unfortunately some bookshops still closed down; Koenig replaced the beloved Zwemmers - a real institution - but thankfully still provide great books, although others are no longer bookshops at all.
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My walk through the Heath often continues on to the Camden Arts Centre, a really fantastic exhibition space that runs workshops and courses as well as having a great café and bookshop to boot. I collect their exhibition booklets called File Notes - beautifully designed by James Goggin and Sarah De Bondt - some memorable shows include Eva Hesse Studiowork, The Bruce Lacey Experience and Serena Korda’s Aping the Beast. The latter concluded with a procession from the gallery up to the Heath, culminating in a re-enactment of The Battle of the River Plate in a pond. This is my photo of the Beast and the Boob Meteorite.
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This is a little general but there’s so many great cinemas in London, I can’t choose just one. I probably go to Screen on the Green most often as it’s nearby and shows great films, has really comfortable armchairs and serve drinks to your seat as well as hosting director Q&As and late night screenings. Other favourites include: Curzon Mayfair, Renoir, NFT, Barbican and Prince Charles cinema where I’ve been to a great Movie Maths triple bill; RoboCop + The Raid = Dredd. I can’t get rid of anything so compile all my tickets in a file chronologically, which also serves as a map of where I was living at any one time; depending on which cinemas I frequented the most.
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