in News | 24 AUG 23

September at No.9 Cork Street: ‘Seven Psalms’, Illustrated by Charlie Mackesy. Inspired by the words and music of Paul Simon

In a two-week exhibition at the gallery, the creator of The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse responds to Paul Simon’s latest album Seven Psalms with seven new sketches

in News | 24 AUG 23

​Paul Simon’s fifteenth solo album Seven Psalms is a stirring 33-minute thematic suite of music that has been heralded as a stunning late-career highlight. From 13–27 September, No.9 Cork Street reveals the sketches that Charlie Mackesy made in response to Simon’s latest record.

Mackesy, best-known for his book The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, was one of the first people to hear Simon’s new record before it was released. The artist was inspired to craft seven original sketches – one for each ‘psalm’ – reimagining the album through his art.

Paul Simon. Credit: Myrna Suarez
Paul Simon. Courtesy: Myrna Suarez

Mackesy reflects on his connection with the music: ‘I’ve loved Paul Simon’s music all my life. I used to draw while I listened to his songs when I was a boy and still do. When I was asked to work with him on Seven Psalms I was surprised, grateful and overwhelmed. It’s without doubt one of the greatest privileges of my life – not just to be asked, but to be trusted to do them. The album is unique, beautiful, honest and full of questions. I love it. It’s been a joy getting to know Paul: he is kind and wise and unbelievably gifted. I really hope I do him and the album justice.’

Charlie Mackesy. Credit: Charlie Gray
Charlie Mackesy. Courtesy: Charlie Gray

Paul Simon adds: ‘[Charlie’s] art is beautiful and atmospheric, and he’s also interested in social justice and ecology, which resonates with me as well. His book [The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse] was about taking a journey and the search for home. My album is in some ways about seeking and questioning. I felt we were working in similar worlds. When it comes to my music, I truly believe “the listener completes the song”, so I was happy to let Charlie follow his own inspiration to re-imagine my music through his sketches.’

About Charlie Mackesy

British artist, illustrator and author Charlie Mackesy’s award-winning work has been exhibited widely and featured in books, private collections, galleries, school classrooms, hospital wards, prisons and public spaces around the world. His internationally bestselling book The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse was published in October 2019 and has become the longest-running Sunday Times Non-Fiction Number One of all time, translated into more than 50 different languages. In 2023, the short animated film adaption of the book won the BAFTA Award for Best British Film, the Academy Award for Best Animated Short film and five Annie Awards including Best Special Production.

Paul Simon’s Seven Psalms – Illustrated by Charlie Mackesy
Paul Simon’s Seven Psalms – Illustrated by Charlie Mackesy 

About Paul Simon

During his distinguished career spanning seven decades, musician Paul Simon has produced an unparalleled body of work including timeless masterpieces, such as Bridge Over Troubled Water, Sounds of Silence, and Graceland. Simon has received 16 Grammy Awards and has been twice inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors, and was presented the Library of Congress’ inaugural Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Simon was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011, and in 2012 named laureate of the prestigious Polar Music Prize along with Yo-Yo Ma. In 2019, Simon was the first musician to be presented the Great Americans Medal by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

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Main Image: Paul Simon’s Seven Psalms – Illustrated by Charlie Mackesy