14. If music be the food of love – Luke Embden


Artist: Luke Embden

Location: Flat Iron Square, Southwark Street (from 26 Aug)


“If music be the food of love, play on”

Twelfth Night, Act 1 Scene 1

“If music be the food of love play on” is a quote from William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. It is the first line of the play, spoken by Orsino, the Duke of Illyria. Orsino is a young man, and from these opening lines, the audience immediately learn of his passion for Olivia. He is yearning for her in a way that a teenager deals with their first love affair.

By itself, the quote is interpreted as equating music to food for love. On its own, as it is commonly quoted, speakers interpret it as promoting love in one’s life as one might seek out more food to sate one’s appetite. But, in the context of the play and the entire quote, it becomes clear that the speaker is asking for more music because he hopes that it will cure him of his obsessive love for Countess Olivia. He hopes that with more music, his “appetite may sicken and so die.”

London based graphic artist Luke Embden a self-professed doodler, Muralist and Illustrator.

Since graduating from LCC Embden has been working across many disciplines within the contemporary art and design industry. Drawing from his country beginnings Embden combines his passion of street art with freeform typography and bold graphic lines, each work with an intricate expression of multiple lines and layers, where cryptic words, iconic imagery, sentences and phrases are subtly interwoven.

Forever pushing his craft and ever growing client-based collaborations enabling Embden to work across a variety of mediums from limited edition screen-prints, large-scale murals, fashion print and bespoke artwork.


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