Sunday, 27 April 2008

Faslane poem

An example of some work in progress for a collaborative book project between illustrators and poets. This is one of my final drafts for the poem Disarmament, which is one of a series of poems relating to Faslane 365. Faslane is where the Trident nuclear base is situated in Scotland, and the Faslane 365 program is a year long blockade involving groups and organizations from Scotland, England and Wales aiming to shut down the base for at least 48 hour period each during the year to eventually apply enough pressure to lead to the disarmament of Britain's Nuclear weapons. Disarmament was a poem written by one of the blockade protesters . Once looking at the poem I interpretated it as having quite a serious, demanding nature, but also quite a sarcastic and humorous one. These are some of the things that i really wanted to put across in my illustration.

Initially I had to think of an interesting but effective way of getting across the strength and energy of the word boom in the image, and as therea re only two words in the poem these had to be illustrated well, without detracting to much from the words themselves. To deal with this I believed that it was a good idea to give the words enough space, consequently I decided that a double page spread was necessary, as well as giving me space to create a 'story' within the image that i feel helped me create this sarcastic element( with the squirrel pushing down the detonator).

My full page illustration has helped me create an impact with the positioning of the mushrooms, which look like an explosion caused by the detonator. I decided to use mushrooms as a play on mushroom clouds which are created by bombs, and as a way of incorporating nature on to my image. This also creates a sense of, it is not what you expect (nature instead od man-made disaster). Although this seems to be quite a humorous ending to my illustration and to the poem, this should also reflect the unpredictable but definite danger that would occur if such nuclear weapons were to be used.

Another reason I wanted nature to be an important feature in my illustration is that,I wanted it to be dominant over the bomb which can be seen laid on the ground useless and in a sense 'disarmed'. this is also felt by the bomb being placed in an ordinary, peaceful and harmless environment. A child also features in my image to illustrate the fact that it would be nature and future generations that are at great risk, which i feel satisfies the serious element of the poem.

Things that appeal to me in terms of the aesthetics and nature of illustration are when theres a lot of things going on in an image, an image that has impact but also makes you focus on the smaller details. I often draw influence from artists such as Josef Lada, Salvador Dali, Lautrec, Aubrey Bearldsley, Stanley Spencer and Lowrey.

If you would like to see some more of my work, please visit my website:


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