On 8th December, the work of Pete Fowler will go on show at his exhibition entitled, Oceans of Fantasy, at the Wales Millennium Centre. Pete is largely known for his work with Super Furry Animals, as well his World of Monsterism, consisting of many sorts of characters, creatures, illustrations, sculptures and toys. Recently he has also applied his styles and themes to landscapes inspired by the Cornish coast, where he studied at Falmouth Art School.

Upon entering his Brick Lane studio and marveling at shelves full of monster toys, wall mounted antlers and tables covered with images of seascapes and hairy musos, I begin to ask which items from this Aladdin's Cave would be included in the retrospective part of the show. Pete tells me:

"I've been trying not to use the retrospective work, but there are mostly paintings going back to 2006 and some sculpture stuff going even further back. And there are some things from 2001 that haven't been seen, so it's nice to get some stuff out there that's been on my shelf for years."

What's important about the old work is its link with the new:

"The work that I've selected from the older stuff makes sense with the newer work that I've been doing, and I think there's a theme that's been running through it for years that's still there, but I've expanded on, so there'll be a thread running from the old pieces into the new ones."

One of the strongest themes that Pete talks about is the mysticism and folklore that comes with his characters and his landscapes, mostly coming from Cornwall. He speaks a lot about the ghost stories from the south west coast; the legends surrounding the Cornish Saints, "And the Cornish Saints are a very weird bunch!" he tells me with enthusiasm. Cornwall was once the go-to point for painters and sculptors, who flocked down to the county, based themselves in St. Ives and sought inspiration from the coast and countryside. Not being preferable to the famous St. Ives bunch however, Pete looks up to a less likely artist: "If there is any artist from Cornwall that I admire, it's Alfred Wallis. He worked as a fisherman and was an outsider to observational art, making work that was somewhat naive, but drawn from memory, from his life. And he'd draw on any given surface, often on the backs of cigarette packets!"

While working on ink drawings and paintings, a lot of Pete's work also takes digital form. He talks about the iPad lending importantly to his technique: "It makes me think differently about my drawing. Unlike the brush and the pencil, I have the stylus and the 'undo' setting, which makes me draw much tighter lines, and like having those constraints. Drawing in this way has made me boil my images down to simplicity." He produces a picture of an arm twisting a synth knob. "What I would like to do with the iPad drawings is find the right way of presenting them. I was disappointed with the last David Hockney exhibition because of the fact that his digital drawings had been enlarged and printed out. Really, the drawing needs to stay the size of the screen, and on the screen. I'd like to maybe turn them into an app, where the viewer will be able swipe from one image to the next."

We came onto the subject of his sound work:

"There are also some sound pieces I've made, a couple of which are just behind you." I turn round to find a whimsical little piano and a classic Fowler-looking monster, with what look like two Tesla towers coming out of its head. "One of them is a kids' toy piano that I've put a contact mic in, that's going to be run through a delay pedal. People will be able play with it on Saturdays between 1pm and 3pm I believe, accompanied by a member of staff. And next to that is a toy that I made years ago, which was a collaboration. I had a project that came up where I got to work with someone whom I never usually would, and that brought me to work with David Cranmer; an amazing guy who makes all sorts of stuff from synths, to strange mechanical things, to AC/DC concerts. We got this toy and decided to put a synth in there, which to us made complete sense. It's built by the American company, Music From Outer Space, and you don't need to know anything about synths to use it. It's a very intuitive thing, great to offer people to play with, and draws the music and the art together completely. It's a symbol of what I'm about really; a character or designed object with a function. And the horns on this toy are touch-sensitive, so you can make full contact with them, making them scream and whine." He then gives a demonstration on the synthesised creature, which gives off a burst of abstract noise, sounding like an Atari space ship about to take off.

So, with all these illustrated and sculpted interpretations of human characteristics, folk legends and quirks of the music world, we can expect Pete Fowler's Oceans of Fantasy exhibition to be a hell of an interactive trip for the public.