Among the Clouds- KGA

among-the-clouds

Here is an illustration I made for the song Among The Clouds by KGA. The song is intended to be used for relaxation and sleep aid and will be released with the artwork online. I will be printing the image for my own personal portfolio and designed the image with risograph printing in mind. I thoroughly enjoyed making the piece as it is such a contrast to the heavy research I have been ploughing through. I hope to work with KGA again in the future.

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Knock Knock- Halloween Zine

I came across a call out for emerging Northern artists via the Art In Liverpool website asking them to submit images, poetry, short stories or any other interpretation of the season of Halloween.

I responded by illustrating the Irish Folk Tale by Lady Wilde; The Fairies Revenge.

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Here is the full text;

THE fairies have a great objection to the fairy raths, where they meet at night, being built upon by mortal man. A farmer called Johnstone, having plenty of money, bought some land, and chose a beautiful green spot to build a house on, the very spot the fairies loved best.

The neighbours warned him that it was a fairy rath; but he laughed and never minded (for he was from the north), and looked at such things as mere old-wives’ tales. So he built the house and made it beautiful to live in; and no people in the country were so well off as the Johnstones so that the people said the farmer must have found a pot of gold in the fairy rath.

But the fairies were all the time plotting how they could punish the farmer for taking away their dancing ground, and for cutting down the hawthorn bush where they held their revels when the moon was full. And one day when the cows were milking, a little old woman in a blue cloak came to Mrs. Johnstone and asked her for a porringer of milk.

“Go away,” said the mistress of the house, “you shall have no milk from me. I’ll have no tramps coming about my place.” And she told the farm servants to chase her away.

Some time after, the best and finest of the cows sickened and gave no milk, and lost her horns and teeth and finally died.

Then one day as Mrs. Johnstone was sitting spinning flax in the parlour, the same little woman in the blue cloak suddenly stood before her.

“Your maids are baking cakes in the kitchen,” she said; “give me some off the griddle to carry away with me.”

“Go out of this,” cried the farmers wife, angrily; “you are a wicked old wretch, and have poisoned my best cow.” And she bade the farm servants drive her off with sticks.

Now the Johnstones had one only child; a beautiful bright boy, as strong as a young colt, and as full of life and merriment. But soon after this he began to grow queer and strange, and was disturbed in his sleep; for he said the fairies came round him at night and pinched and beat. him, and some sat on his chest and he could neither breathe nor move. And they told him they would never leave him in peace unless he promised to give them a supper every night of a griddle cake and a porringer of milk. So to soothe the child the mother had these things laid every night on a table beside his bed, and in the morning they were gone.

But still the child pined away, and his eyes got a strange, wild look, as if he saw nothing near or around him, only something far, far away that troubled his spirit. And when they asked him what ailed him, he said the fairies carried him away to the hills every night, where he danced and danced with them till the morning, when they brought him back and laid him again in his bed.

At last the farmer and his wife were at their wits’ end from grief and despair, for the child was pining away before their eyes, and they could do nothing for him to help him. One night he cried out in great agony–

“Mother! mother! send for the priest to take away the fairies, for they are killing me; they are here on my chest, crushing me to death,” and his eyes were wild with terror.

Now the farmer and his wife believed in no fairies, and in no priest, but to soothe the child they did as he asked and sent for the priest, who prayed over him and sprinkled him with holy water.

The poor little fellow seemed calmer as the priest prayed, and he said the fairies were leaving him and going away, and then he sank into a quiet sleep. But when he woke in the morning he told his parents that he had a beautiful dream and was walking in a lovely garden with the angels; and he knew it was heaven, and that he would be there before night, for the angels told him they would come for him.

Then they watched by the sick child all through the night, for they saw the fever was still on him, but hoped a change would come before morning; for he now slept quite calmly with a smile on his lips.

But just as the clock struck midnight. he awoke and sat up, and when his mother put her arms round him weeping, he whispered to her–

“The angels are here, mother,” and then he sank back, and so died.

Now after this calamity the farmer never held up his head. He ceased to mind his farm, and the crops went to ruin and the cattle died, and finally before a year and a day were over he was laid in the grave by the side of his little son; and the land passed into other hands, and as no one would live in the house it was pulled down. No one, either, would plant on the rath; so the grass grew again all over it, green amid beautiful, and the fairies danced there once more in the moonlight as they used to do in the old time, free and happy; and thus the evil spell was broken for evermore.

But the people would have nothing to do with the childless mother, so she went away back to her own people, a brokenhearted, miserable woman–a warning to all who would arouse the vengeance of the fairies by interfering with their ancient rights and possessions and privileges.

The Fox’s First Adventure is Complete.

And the book is finished, well, until I get given amendments if a publisher becomes interested…

My friend has been in touch to tell me he has a meeting with a charity for Children with disabilities based in Angel, London. I am going to do some research for similar charities in Wales. I’ve also attended entrepreneurship workshops through the University, last night being about access to funding and there seems to be more of a chance of receiving funding in Wales, this might be worth thinking about when trying to get the book published. My friend has plans for more follow up books too for us to work on tackling other aspects discrimination and acceptance.

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Next batch of Images for The Fox children’s book…

I think I have been a bit unrealistic with the targets I have allowed to be set. I am becoming frustrated when an image doesn’t work first time or if I feel I have taken too long on something. I might have to bump my deadline up by a few days as I also have a deadline for my dissertation introduction and chapter plans. Overall, I am happy with how the book is looking, I just would of liked to of experimented with some of the images a little more.

I also feel that I need some professional practice advice, how long is a realistic deadline on a children’s book brief, how to draw up a contract, how budgets are split between the author, illustrator and publisher, etc. I feel like I am going in to this a bit too naive.

I have a couple more spreads to finish but then I really need to focus on the books cover and bookends. I’m worrying about the title and font.

On an exciting note; I have been given a voluntary place at the House of Illustration once a week at least! So I will be involved in the other side of illustration, invigorating exhibitions, helping with events, organising fairs. Very exciting times!

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TBC…

Change of Direction for the Fox.

So I went back to the drawing board. Well, more like back to Waterstones where I sat on the floor in the kids section and looked at some books and noted down why I thought they worked, about compositions, colour, negative space and got back to storyboarding my book properly with this in mind. If I am including a lot of texture, I needed to balance that with space.

I feel more content with the images now. I am still a little concerned with the type and trying to find a font that compliments the images. I have met with the author and he is happy with the feel of the book and wants me to send over what I have done to the publishers and see if they are interested.

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TBC…

Write to Life. Bristol Brewery Theatre.

On Sunday 7th October I visited The Brewery Theatre in Bristol to see the play Souvenirs. It is by a London based group called Write To Life who formed together to use writing as a form of recovery working with the Freedom From Torture charity group. They each tell their story of how they ended up here in the UK. I say ended up here in the UK as it was not their intention to come, it was to seek refuge. The play started with an old Senegalese man playing his Kora. It was beautiful, the music and how he completely connected with the instrument. He had everyones complete attention. He received an ongoing applause which made him emotional. That was the hint of how high the emotions were in the room.

I feel a bit uncomfortable addressing Souvenirs as a play, but that is how it is described. And although it is written and staged, it is 5 people’s life stories. Humour is added tactfully, and the horror is laid out in such a way that the group are not asking for your sympathy by giving you every detail, but they are just telling it like it is.

It’s ongoing. These people’s stories are not over. They speak of their application process and how their adjustments were made and the culture shock on arriving. Also how they look for their children every day on the bus.

I wish everyone got the chance to listen. I think people can be pretty naive (putting this a nice way…) in thinking people come to the UK seeking asylum on a hope and a whim. Wanting a better life as in regards to money. I think these people would give anything to just live in peace with their families. Everyone has a right to happiness.

I spoke to a couple of people afterwards from the Freedom From Torture group and gave my contact details offering to help with illustrations as they sell collections of poems written by the group. I hope I could offer something.

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http://www.freedomfromtorture.org

http://www.freedomfromtorture.org/feature/write_to_life_projects/7604

Lecture notes…

Not to be understood by anyone else… definitely not with how many typos there are! I quite liked that the words were incorrect in the end, I stopped trying to correct them. They show the speed of the information being given as I typed. I think I also just enjoyed that I could still understand what it all meant even though it wasn’t ‘correct’.

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Trip to the Cabaret Voltaire.

Whilst in Zurich I found the Cabaret Voltaire where the Dadaists congregated and the manifesto was drawn up. It is a small place, the cafe upstairs and a shop selling books on Dada and other objects downstairs. I think I expected more from it. There were plaques on the wall of the incredible collection of minds that were a part of the movement and or had once gathered there. There were posters on the walls leading upstairs. I think maybe as it was so quiet and we weren’t sure whether it was actually open or not, I didn’t feel comfortable staying and having a good look. I took a few photos and left. I will try again next time.

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Glue. An exhibition on the art of collage. Chart Gallery, London.

Professor David Ferry was holding a talk on the art of collage at an exhibition called Glue. Chart is a small gallery space which helped me see how varied collage can be. All the work came under this umbrella, yet none of them looked at all the same. Collage is a perfect media to show diversity. Some of the work was vibrant and exciting, some melancholic and some seemingly mischievous. His talk was short and humorous. He talked through why he chose to call his class Gorilla in the Roses, after Joe Orton and his partner were prosecuted for defacing library books and sentenced to six months. (Which made me laugh as for our first practical lesson, he went to the library to see what books/ journals they could spare and told us to do whatever we wanted to them) He then led to how he had humorously defaced signage.  It’s a twist on word association, the visual form instead, a trigger, an automated response which shows your way of thinking, your way of seeing. This enlightened me to the fact that this must be why I am drawn to it as a medium as I have always seen things in objects that were something else to what the object is. Always associating something with another thing or form. That was the moment the big light bulb above my head lit up and I realised why I do what I do.

Artists featured in the exhibition are; Sarah Thomas, Mark Harris, Michal Cole, Keeler Tornero, Deirdre Kelly, Caroline Kha, Hormazd Narielwalla, David Ferry, Cordelia Donohoe, Mary Wintour.

Work of the artists;

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http://www.chartgallery.co.uk

Second visit to the Hannah Hoch exhibition. Whitechapel Gallery, London.

I spent another hour and a half here and again, I feel it wasn’t enough time and will have to call in again before the end of the month. I had a schedule to stick to so I had to grab what I could. This time I spent more time looking at the abstract work upstairs and watching the short interview where she spoke about forms in nature and how she never completes a collage in one sitting, she has to keep going back to it. I can relate to that, sometimes I need to look back on it with fresh eyes as if I carry on, I risk settling for the wrong components just for the sake of ‘finishing’.

I want to go again, to read more the captions and descriptions and understand more about the pieces and the sections of the exhibitions. I did take some photographs… even though you’re not allowed…

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From the last visit;

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http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/exhibitions/hannah-hch