Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Year Two Editorial brief

Former UCLan graduate Ben Tallon visited the Year Two illustrators to speak about his work and to set an editorial brief. This was an illustration project for a Big Issue article that he had recently tackled about homelessness and the help available to people. The second years have had a couple of days on the brief and the result is: these could be used although they don't quite answer the brief...

Friday, 13 January 2012

Jake Tyas included in Curious Pursuits Exhibition at the Portico Gallery

Year Three illustrator Jake Tyas has been selected for Porter and Jenkinson's Curious Pursuits Show at the Portico Gallery in Manchester.

Art Historian collective Porter & Jenkinson aim to showcase the best contemporary art responding to the lost themes and ideas behind the dark, strange, curious and peculiar Victorian aesthetics.
Their premier exhibition Curious Pursuits challenges the conservative image that is frequently associated with the Victorians. Often perceived as prudish and straight-laced, the Victorian’s obsession with – to mention a few pursuits – erotica, theatrical spectacles, the sensational, murder stories and freak shows, has long been pushed to the corners of society’s collective mind. Porter & Jenkinson aim to bring these forgotten ideas to the foreground and explore the responses and reactions in our contemporary society.
The pieces forming the exhibition are what Porter & Jenkinson deem to be intriguing works that depict and celebrate all things curious.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Ronald Searle 1920 - 2011

Very sad to hear of the death of Ronald Searle in my view one of the country's greatest ever illustrators and certainly one of it's best draughtsmen. Recognised in the USA and in France where he was both honoured and hugely influential. 
Searle was genuinely much more than a cartoonist. Anybody who has seen his drawings from his time as a prisoner of war in Burma during world war two can be under no doubt as to the strength of his conviction as an artist.

"Despite his own sufferings, Searle continued to draw what he saw, hiding his sketches under the mattresses of men dying of cholera to prevent their discovery by Japanese guards. “I desperately wanted to put down what was happening, because I thought if by any chance there was a record, even if I died, someone might find it and know what went on,” he recalled."

He was probably busiest in the 1950s and early 60s producing some fantastic reportage, illustrating over a hundred books not to mention his editorial, and design work. 
In this country Ronald Searle is known almost solely as a cartoonist and for creating the St Trinians. It makes me sad that he was not subject of more honour in this country during his lifetime.