It’s the penultimate week of Yellow and what better way to mark it than with a story about the death of the great British cucumber…

Our year-long series of artists illustrating the news is almost at a close. Fifty incredible talents have now had their say, from Jean Jullien and Hattie Stewart to Malika Favre and Supermundane, and now we’ve just two artists left to make their mark.

And what artists they are! This week we have the pleasure of welcoming Matthew the Horse to Yellow, an illustrator whose work has brightened the pages of the Economist, The New York Times and Esquire. We asked Matthew why he chose to illustrate recent news about the death of the British cucumber:

“British cucumbers are dying out. Along with them farmers, communities, people and the planet. It’s a seemingly silly story at face value, but as with most things in the news, it’s a signifier of a much bigger issue; this time corporate greed. The news of British cucumber crops failing provides an environmental story that’s grounded in a smaller, more human context.

“I wanted to make an image that felt silly. Cucumbers are silly. The more you think about them, the more silly they become. Like crabs and melons. I wanted an image to decode and make sense of something that’s immediate and a bit sad as well. Like a sad puzzle. When the profit driven supermarkets have destroyed all our farms, I’ll be sad.”


Check out all the past Yellow illustrations.

Next week: Brian Grimwood with the 52nd and final piece in our Yellow series!