I tend to let film fester a bit. These pictures were taken on my Diana+ mini last summer but have only just been developed. It is however, a welcome reminder of the beautiful season that will soon be upon us.
I’ve been busy in the letterpress workshop with my most recent piece ‘trailer park avenue’. Originally the piece was printed in a sky blue colour and was included in ‘Re-write’ that compiled 8 other letterpress pieces by writer/designers: Ann Dingli, Kristina Ketola Bore, David Cabianca, Zoe Stanojevic, Lu Smith, Harry Leeson, Julia Errens and Jocelyn Jeffery. At that stage the piece was called ‘Social Mixer’.
trailer park avenue’s structure is inspired by the game show Wheel of Fortune, and references the board game Monopoly. The Monopoly connotation relates the piece to the economic game of playing with fake money to buy ‘valuable commodities’ and Marxists concepts of divided class systems based on property ownership. The piece considers shared public space using the central term park, subverts hierarchy and aesthetically disrupts the horizontal-vertical nature of letterpress to imply social mixing.
The original is not pictured here but these are further illustrative experiments. Letterpress has shown itself as multidimensional with this run. Printing with less ink of the type has allowed the illustrations to penetrate the type. The black is more opaque but creates an entirely different effect.
My partner and I are winter swimmers and go to the Hampstead Lido roughly three times a week at 7 am to plunge into the freezing water. As the temperature gradually rises, we are trying to get our face back into the water and do more front crawl. As we’re still wearing surfing neoprene gloves and boots to protect our most delicate extremities, it is hard to get any real speed up. This morning Leon said he was going to be a cheetah fish in the water. It was a good mental image to channel when ice cream headache hit. While it doesn’t exist, cheetah fish deserved to be realised, if only in illustration. He’s fierce and fast…and we’ve decided that he takes in water and then pushes it out his gills to propel forward.
Since I started my masters degree in September, I haven’t had a lot of breathing room. Saying that, somewhere along the line I forgot how cathartic it can be to channel exhaustion and brain-overload into something more expressive. I made a deal with one of my colleagues to illustrate or photograph something everyday for the next two weeks, to remind ourselves that we are not just writers but also practitioners.
This is day one (yesterday’s) illustration. No where on my blog do I really say what I do. As a trained designer, I work mostly in illustration (digital and hand-rendered) and photography (digital and film). Now you know!