Friday, 28 May 2010
I saw Andrea Dezso's tunnel book work at the Slash exhibiition in New York last year, and was really impressed with how she manages to create depth for her narratives, almost like a miniature theatre. This exhibition in 2010 at the Rice Gallery is an installation using vinyl cuts, and gels, with carved formica and polystyrene for part of the scenery. It is the same as her tunnel book procedure, but on a huge scale. It is on until 8th August 2010, if you find yourself in New York. She is Assistant Professor at Parsons New School of Design, New York, which incidentally we also visited whilst we were there on our student trip 2009.
I have been told my blogging is fairly rubbish by my tutor in terms of frequency and also critical appraisal and my response to other people's work that I feature on my blog. Here I am sharing with you my attempt at the paper theatre you can download on the V & A website. The other picture is the poster from the Library Theatre's Oscar Wilde production of The Importance of Being Earnest, the name of the poster illustrator is not stated.
Manchester Children's Book Festival 2010 is the first festival of its kind in the North West, and will be led by poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. There is a full programme of events and you can register as a volunteer, if you like. Dates are 1st - 4th July 2010.
Join Anthony Brown Children's Laureate author of King Kong, Viviane Schwarz (There are Cats in this Book) and Grahame Baker Smith (Leon and the Place-In-Between) for the Kate Greenaway Breakfast chat and coffee at 9.00am Friday 4th June. Both authors have been short-listed for the Kate Greenaway Children's Literature Award 2010. The Hay Festival sounds like fun, just lots of books, and more books, and then people talking about writing and making them. Jeanette Winterson is giving a talk this Sunday.
Last chance to see Brian Wildsmith - The Master of Colour at 80 at the Illustration Cupboard, London, it has been extended to the end of the month. I don't know if I will get the chance to see it now. If you miss it, however, the children's laureate Anthony Browne has a wonderful exhibition on at the same gallery till July 1st 2010. Both exhibitions can be seen on the website, from which the above images are purloined, at www.theillustrationcupboard.com There are lots of rarely seen often originals or giclee prints of well known illustrator's work, such as Alexis Deacon and Shaun Tan. Lauren Child's Charlie & Lola exhibition is on from 10 June, which also features work from her book "The Princess and the Pea" which is the top photo, (C- type photographic print), followed by Anthony Browne and Brian Wildsmith.
According to the talented artist and children's book writer Viviane Schwarz, www.schwarzville blogspot courtesy, I hope, of her blog photographs, the above drawings were created in a sort of time-machine to oneself way, in that they were re-drawn twenty year's later by his adult self. Eric Cilcaine's fantastic work can be seen at www.ericcilcaine.com, where this book can be purchased.
Sensitively translated 3D and textile images from her delicately crafted drawings from www.yuyasutake and www.88. I found this artist's work on Katie Patrick's lovely blog www.katie patrick blogspot, whose blog I also find inspiring. Both of these sites I came across whilst reading the interesting articles on www. cardboard cut-out sundown.
Thursday, 6 May 2010
A series of old found photographs of bombsites in Oostend, Belgium was the starting point for this work. The destruction and dismantling of something, the blank space left in history, the erasure of communities and people's lives, and the space left for memory, individual and collective, and new narrative to develop. This resonates with the themes in O'Donaghue's work, war and it's destruction, found photographs of his father's during the first world war, and how individual and collective memory is constructed.
The Children's book for the Macmillan competition brief was about the zoo, with lots of animals, prior to that I had a narrative developed for another project, which I called "Dangerous Knitting", for which I set up a scene to photograph. The above scene was an amalgamation of the two. The blurriness of the ink which took weeks to dry, and was constantly changing, gives it an interesting quality. Note the giraffe's legs at the top of the stairs.
Amandine Nabarra-Piomelli's work is much influenced by Louis Desire Blanquart-Evrard's early pioneering work in albumen printing. In researching into Hughie O'Donaghue's technique's, I was led to to further inquire into the possibilities of printing with albumen.
Deborah Riley's polymer photogravures: utilising both the principles of darkroom photography and the process of printmaking.
The work of Deborah Riley could be said to have transcended mere technique.
The method was first developed in 1989 by Danish printmaker Eli Ponsaing. His main invention was to realise that polymer plates used for letterpress printing could successfully be used for intaglio printing. In polymer photogravure traditional pigment paper and copper is replaced by light sensitive photopolymer resin plates. The polymer plates are printed in the same manner as traditional etching plates. The process requires a darkroom, an etching press, and a good UV vacuum frame. If darkroom facilities are not available, it is possible to make positive originals on plastic foils or on glass surfaces.
The Possibilities of Polymer Photogravure by Kari Holopainen.
Photographing light and shadow after researching the working methods of Hughie O'Donaghue's into the integration of painted and photographic media. I researched a lot into the methods of photographic transfer, especially from the book of his latest exhibition at Leeds Art Gallery, "The Journey" edited by Tanja Pirsig-Marshall. I also experimented with solvent transfer methods, as the thin quality of the paper was difficult to get through my printer at the time, although I am working on it.
One of the points emphasised at the Children's Book Seminar 2010 at the AOI was that of multiculturalism and co-editions of children's books. Since many books may be published in different countries, the advice given is not to put in any signs of a particular country or culture, broadly speaking. So, no steering wheels on the left please etc. but rather put them in the middle. This is understandable from an economic point of view, but there is also a danger of losing a sense of place. Martin Salisbury has taken this issue up in his paper "No Red Buses Please" in the journal Bookbird, where he wonders to what extent are publishers censoring children's books prior to publication and the implications thereof.
Monday, 3 May 2010
Alexis Deacon is the author and illustrator of Slow Loris, Beegu, and While You are Sleeping. He has also illustrated Jitterbug Jam, written by Barbara Jane Hicks. He is a tutor on the Cambridge Children's Book Illustration course. Currently he is working on a couple of books, "A Place to Call Home" and "Problem Bird". He spoke about narrative as being the main thing that interests him and makes him want to illustrate. He also emphasised that the cornerstone of picture books is that words and pictures go together seamlessly, if you allow it the space to work. If it is not working, chances are it hasn't left the space, so to speak. The important thing is to leave space for pictures and words to act in counterpoint, and the best illustrations are the ones that expand on the sentiment in the text. He stressed narrative pace, and to use the tools of this wisely, ie. not necessarily all at once, but with judgement. For instance, its often not what you use, but what you don't use that makes the difference, to give pace, to allow the story to be told and give climax, apex to the narrative. If you use all of those elements together, then you deny yourself an option in telling the story at different points. He advised to be aware of the narrative implications of the tools one uses, ie. the type of mark on the page, colour, and shape of the picture block on the page and to use them advisedly in your spacing and pacing. He often puts in sub-plots visually, i.e. being able to tell a story with pictures by putting in different levels of accent; things not highlighted in the composition, but they are there for those who might notice them. One of his major influences has been Honore Daumier and Commedia dell Arte.