OPM Wrappers

OPM Wrappers

by Si Peplow

One of Birmingham’s finest, Si Peplow, popped back into my consciousness recently with this new exclusive wrapper for Birmingham finest burger joint Original Patty Men… we caught up to find out more.

Si, for those who might not know of you fill us in a bit..who you are, what you do etc.

Cornish born, Birmingham raised 38 year old PEPLOW. Artist, Humanitarian, Truth Seeker, Water Bearer, Temple, Joker, Monk, Friend – any of these monikers sum up my current belief system.

A burger wrap might not seem like an obvious project but then OPM aren’t your average burger flippers – how did the opportunity come about?

Through happenstance – the past aligning with the present – like everything else. At the beginning of this year co-owner Richard Harris presented me with an opportunity to showcase a solo body of new work at Black Market Barber Company [ BMBC ] based in Kings Heath, Birmingham.  Tom [ OPM ] visited the show, liked the work, and inquired about the artist – when told it was me, realised this was the same Simon he’d studied with at Bournville Art college  [ 16 years previously ].  Tom kindly purchased some artworks to hang above OPM’s porcelain throne, and in addition had been thinking about teaming up / championing local artists on their tray liners + wrappers [ following their initial collaboration with Gent48 – who’s output / work ethic I admire and respect ] and figured I’d be a good fit to kick this off again. We all share an unwavering devotion to our craft.

Tell us a bit about the project, your approach, and its reception?

My main objective with this collaboration was to represent the essence of OPM’s business – two gentlemen outliers with a humble presence and shared passion for delivering quality products to their loyal customer base. I made another trip to OPM to re-familiarise myself with my clients environment & culture, took a bunch of photos of the exterior / interior + anything else i felt would inspire / form a solid basis for my research moving forward with the project.  I rifled through a series of A3 sketches when i got back to my studio – playing around with numerous themes and visual incantations – cows, chickens, mushrooms, beer, stylised characters + various hand drawn type.   Another area i focused on was OPM’s tagline ‘Purveyors of Filth’ which i really dig.  I ended up introducing the final character – loosely symbolising Tom & Scott and the many hats they wear as proprietors of an independent restaurant business.  I also [ rightly or wrongly ] read into OPM’s choice of location and colour scheme to be a subversive dig [ dark homage ] at the infamous American behemoth famed for its arches logo.  So I chose to incorporate two of these primary colours into the mix, and the green featured in OPM’s entrance / outdoor dining area to represent the source of their products – nature.   As far as i’m aware the reception has been positive.

Any projects in the works you can tell us about?

I’ve been concentrating on new personal work for the last 2 years to re-energise my illustration practice, and slowly build a new site to house the fruits of my labour.  I recently painted a fibre glass representation of the vulnerable Southeast Asian Sun Bear for The Big Sleuth Birmingham [ Wild in Art ] trail, selected to reside at the Custard Factory over the duration of the summer, and subsequently auctioned off for a great cause – Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity – selling for £2000.

Burgers are a beautiful thing. What’s on your design/illustration bucketlist?

I remain open to projects – if they strike a chord – the more diverse the better.

Luke Tonge