Falmouth School of Art

Interested in Falmouth School of Art at Falmouth University? Find out what our students, staff and alumni get up to…

Visiting Professor Graham Rawle to give inaugural lecture at Falmouth

(c) Graham Rawle, from The Wizard of Oz

Author, artist and designer Graham Rawle will give his inaugural lecture as Falmouth School of Art’s Visiting Professor of Illustration on 22 March 2017.

Internationally admired, Rawle is one of the UK’s most interesting and original visual communicators, known by many for his long running ‘Lost Consonants’ strip, which appeared in the Guardian from 1990. A writer and collage artist whose visual work incorporates illustration, design, photography and installation, Rawle has a strong following for his eagerly-awaited published books, which include The Card (shortlisted for the 2013 Writer’s Guild Award), Graham Rawle’s Wonder Book of Fun and Diary of an Amateur Photographer. His collaged novel Woman’s World, created entirely from fragments of found text clipped from vintage women’s magazines won wide critical acclaim, described by The Times as ‘a work of genius…the most wildly original novel produced in this country in the past decade.’ His reinterpretation of The Wizard of Oz won Book of the Year and Best Illustrated Trade Book at the 2009 British Book Design and Production Awards. Alongside these works, Rawle has produced regular series for The Observer, The Sunday Telegraph Magazine and The Times.

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Graham Rawle. Photo credit: Jenny Lewis

Rawle’s flair and passion for education has been recognised through honorary appointments and awards. As a previous contributor to both Falmouth School of Art’s guest speaker programme and its Illustration Forum he already has a strong interest in Illustration here. Of his appointment in 2016, Rawle said, “It’s a great honour for me to have been made Visiting Professor of Illustration at Falmouth University. I have long admired the School of Art’s commitment to nurturing original and individual thinking in art and design. My own research in sequential design and visual narrative spans across illustration, literature and, more recently, film. I’m interested in how the principles of storytelling, particularly three-act structure, can be employed in the development of design strategies across a wide range of disciplines. I look forward to finding ways of making connections with students, staff and researchers at Falmouth”.

Rawle has established himself as a ground-breaking research-led writer, illustrator and designer, evidenced through the range and depth of key scholarly texts that cite and analyse his work. He teaches on the MA Sequential Design/Illustration and MA Arts and Design by Independent Project courses at Brighton and in 2012 he was awarded an honorary doctorate for Services to Design from Norwich University of the Arts.

Graham Rawle’s lecture at our Falmouth Campus is free, but registration is required, as seats are limited: Click here to register through our Eventbrite page.

Find out more about our BA(Hons) Illustration and MA Illustration: Authorial Practice.

 

MA Illustration: Authorial Practice success at The Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets 2016

Atlantic Press, an independent press associated with the MA Illustration: Authorial Practice course at Falmouth has won the prestigious Michael Marks Illustration Award.  The book’s illustrator Mairead Dunne received the award for her illustrations to Luke Thompson’s book of poems, The Clearing, which was published last summer.  Mairead is a graduate of the Authorial Illustration Masters course (September 2016).

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The winners were announced at a special dinner with the shortlisted poets, publishers and illustrators at the British Library in December last year.  Mairead was presented the award along with a cheque for £1,000 by Lady Marina Marks, Chairman of the Michael Marks Charitable Trust.

The images are a contemplative series in photography, using experimental lenses and interventionist drawing. The work reflects and reveals the narrative, highlighting the sense of reader as voyeur, as well as developing the symbolism and ambience of the poetry.  Every copy of the clearing is unique, the cover birds having been individually hand-stamped by Mairead.

Steve Braund, Course Coordinator of MA Illustration: Authorial Practice and Director of Atlantic Press has written a piece about the work:

“The Clearing is one of a series of four ‘poet-illustrator’ collaborations we’ve published recently at Atlantic, the others being Stone by Em Strang and Mat Osmond, Pick Me Up by Anna Kiernan and Harriet Lee-Merion and On Ridgegrove Hill by Alyson Hallett and Phyllida Bluemel.

Attempting to illustrate poetry can be foolhardy as the ability of poems to picture subject matter so vividly make them powerful illustrations in themselves. So, we’ve tried to support collaborative conversations between the pairings of poets and illustrators where the images augment the words with a fair degree of ambiguity allowing open-ended readings. In addition, and of equal importance, is the attention to the design and typography: how the book feels in your hands, how the pages turn and the use of empty spaces. In The Clearing, as with the others in the series, the design was in the hands of the illustrator.

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Part of the underlying excitement in all our books is in that suspension of disbelief where the ‘unreal’, the fictional construction (or sometimes imaginative take on the real), captivates the audience, holding their attention, taking them on a journey of the imagination, the story. The best results occur when the creator/s (in this case the poet and illustrator in collaboration) inhabit their characters from within. The storytelling never works quite as well when the characters feel consciously contrived as if from a distance. If your character cuts their knee, you need to feel their pain. If you don’t, then don’t expect your audience to either.

The publication was supported by a grant from the Arthur Quiller Couch Memorial Fund (Q Fund) and through Crowd funding.”

The Award was judged by Sir Nicholas Penny, Director of the National Gallery, London from 2008 – 2015. The Illustration Award recognises outstanding illustration of a poetry pamphlet published between July 2015 and June 2016.  Sir Nicholas Penny considered illustration in any medium and was looking for a subtle and sustained relationship between image and text, as well as the overall quality of the images.

The Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets are sponsored by The Wordsworth Trust, The British Library and the Michael Marks Charitable Trust in association with the TLS and the Harvard University Centre for Hellenic Studies.

MA Illustration Alumna, Heidi Ball, wins international writers competition

Heidi Ball, Illustrator and Writer, who graduated from the MA Illustration: Authorial Practice course in 2013 has won the 2016 Iceland Writers Retreat (IWR) writing competition with her short story ‘White Light’.  The competition to win a spot on the retreat has been running for three years and attracted over 350 entries from around the world.

The IWR will take place in Aprwhite-light-heidi-ballil this year and is a space for writers and those who enjoy the craft of writing to retreat and to foster their creative spirit.  Over the course of the retreat participants can choose to enroll in small group writing workshops led by internationally acclaimed authors, Q&A panels, numerous readings, social functions and the opportunity to explore the Icelandic countryside.

Heidi says “I’m really looking forward to the IWR 2017 retreat in April – there are some amazing speakers and I’ve been lucky enough to book on five of the workshops, with; Claudia Casper, Sara Gruen, Bret Anthony Johnston, Madeleine Thien and Meg Wolitzer. Goodness, what a line-up. I cannot wait!”

 

White Light, by Heidi Ball (471 words)

The old man watched from the dryness of the shore. On black sand in a black night. He tilted his head upwards, waiting for the clouds to pass.

He would always come here, he knew that. This was where his heart was held. A tiny beating thing. The land was so vast, so strong, and only here he remembered his place.

This time, he stood with his family, his son by his side, a man now. And they gazed together, waiting for the moon.
He had always told him on each return, that you should never fear the moon, but only fear what you find reflected there of yourself. The only true advice he could think of, as he doubted again what he himself might see.

The moon slipped silently into vision. Its light fell upon them. He tried to remember to breath. The whiteness slid along the ground, over the water and rocks and over their own small frames.

His wife, slipped her hand through the shadows and grasped his. Her hair greyed, as had his, but she hadn’t aged. Her eyes spoke of youth and the chilled air had awoken her complexion.

They aligned themselves, ready to see, ready to understand. This was the land of the moon, created in its likeness and only here, it felt like a homecoming. A resting place for the eternal.

No words were spoken aloud, they were quieted in time. Their annual trip to this place brought that moment of peace. He thought of the next year and the next, and wanted to be here to see them all. His grandchild would make the trip and he could tell her about, it all, you had to feel as well as see.

He closed his eyes to soak in the light. Then opened them wide to see what would be revealed. He was consumed by that moon. Its detail etched into his mind. The variations of its surface, pitted with memory.

His wife turned to him, squeezed his hand one last time that year. She nodded at the moon and smiled. He wondered why, always wondered how it could be, them standing here.

The gentle wind pushed back the veil and he found his hand empty once again. The moment had passed. He appreciated his son’s company with a glance, and turned for a final look up to the sky. He mouthed his thanks.

This is where he’d remember her, his wife. Her laugh, her voice whispering to him. He felt his son’s hand on his shoulder. She had slipped away, but he couldn’t bring himself to let go. This is where they had met, this is where they came each year, and she would always turn up, like tonight, when the light was just right. On the black sand, under the white moon.

 

Writing as art practice; drawing pedagogy; illustrators and communities in crisis…

Senior Lecturers from Falmouth School of Art have been helping shape national debates and dialogues surrounding writing as art practice, drawing pedagogy and reportage illustration, through recent conferences presentations around the UK.

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Dr Neil Chapman, Senior Lecturer on BA(Hons) Fine Art was invited to present a paper and lead a workshop at the ‘Words of Art’ conference at Wimbledon College of Arts.

The conference formed part of a wider Words of Art project, seeking ‘to explore writing as art practice by considering tactile materiality, live spoken word or performative activity, site-specific writing practices and temporality’. Participants investigated ‘bridging gaps between the written form and object-oriented art practices, shifting the focus of writing from the computer screen to the studio, breaking down perceptions of barriers between writing on the one hand and art-making on the other’.

The conference gathered together invited practitioners who use written forms within their own practices and/or are involved in curating and publishing artists’ writing.

 

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2016-11-25-16-00-32Neil said, ‘It was good to be part of an event at which some students as well as staff had the opportunity to show their work. The conference was preceded by a week of writing workshops — an effective way of galvanising interest in the themes among students in the lead up to the conference.

The usual conventions of a conference were disrupted in a number of ways, with diverse forms of presentation including performance readings, sound-art and audiovisual presentation, live drawing of diagrams and presentations assembling fictional elements with historical research. The event made evident the diverse approaches to writing being practiced widely in art education and art research, adding weight to the argument that artists have something new and important to contribute to research culture in the humanities and beyond.

In forthcoming work, staff of Falmouth School of Art will develop the network of those concerned with the politics and practice of writing in art, working with colleagues at Linnaeus University in Sweden and with staff and students at UAL to develop new work and research on questions of writing and the image’.

 

Dr Joe Graham, who this year joined the BA(Hons) Drawing team at Falmouth as Lecturer, delivered a paper at the 2016 iJADE (International Journal of Art & Design Education) conference, this year themed ‘Drawing’ and held at the University of Chester. The iJADE journal is published by NSEAD (National Society for Education in Art & Design), and the conference was entirely geared around pedagogical discussion of drawing used by communities within Art & Design Education. Among the keynote speakers was Simon Betts, External Examiner to Falmouth.

ijade-thumb ijade-thumb-2016Papers spanned a wide variety of topics, demonstrating the value of Drawing to a range of disciplines far beyond art and design. Joe’s paper, titled Autonomic Drawing: Postphenomenological Drawing Research discussed his latest research from a pedagogical standpoint, describing the (phenomenological) method of variational practice as it is used within his work.

Joe demonstrated the application of the practice with the aid of nine A3 graph paper drawings, produced specifically to test this method, and explains, ‘The method of variational practice is used to seek invariant (essential) forms of understanding from within a variety of work presented for display. When used in combination with observational drawing, it renders the drawings sensible as ‘data’ i.e. results. This means the more fluid question of what drawing ‘records’ (re-presents) can be decided on an empirical basis. This outcome has useful pedagogical implications’.

 

Dr Catrin Morgan, Senior Lecturer on MA Illustration: Authorial Practice, delivered a paper at the International Illustration Symposium at Edinburgh College of Art. The conference was titled ‘Shaping the View: Understanding Landscape Through Illustration’.

Shaping the View: Understanding Landscape through Illustration

Shaping the View: Understanding Landscape through Illustration

Catrin’s paper, The Myth of Reportage Illustration, explored ideas of authenticity and mark making in reportage illustration. Her paper was grouped within the panel, ‘Landscape as metaphor’, and examined the way in which Illustrators are increasingly being hired to report on and represent communities in crisis (communities in Syria, people living in refugee camps and endangered or destabilised communities for example).

Catrin explains, ‘I am concerned with the ethical implications of aesthetic choice made by these illustrators and what it means as a creative practitioner to report back on the lives of other communities. What voice do we use to do this? How might we choose to foreground our own presence in the situation we are depicting? Are there a set of aesthetic conventions that are establishing themselves as the language of authenticity?

Being critical of and asking questions about how artists address challenges faced by communities is vital to ensuring that the role that illustrators (as creative practitioners) play in society is truly valuable and useful. I am concerned that all areas of illustrative practice are interrogated critically, particularly those that have the social and political relevance to vulnerable communities’.

Among examples Catrin discussed were Anna Cattermole, who works with communities in Cornwall, Gill Gibbon who draws at arms fairs and Olivier Kuglar and George Butler who have reported on various communities internationally.

MA Illustration host symposium on Friday 11 November as part of Cornwall Contemporary Poetry Festival

Falmouth University’s MA Illustration: Authorial Practice will be hosting a symposium next Friday 11 November as part of the Cornwall Contemporary Poetry Festival.  The event will take place at 3.00 – 5.00pm in Lecture 2 on the Falmouth campus.  The event is unticketed and free to both Falmouth University staff and students.  Please arrive early to secure your seat – doors will close once the seating is full.

The theme is ‘Creative collaboration between poets and illustrators’ and will be chaired by Dr Kym Martindale, Course Coordinator on Falmouth’s BA Creative Writing.  The symposium will feature poetry readings by Luke Thompson and Em Strang, and panel discussions with illustrators Mairead Dunne and Mat Osmond, with Steve Braund, Course Coordinator on Falmouth’s MA Illustration and Director of Atlantic Press.

Further information here: Cornwall Contemporary Poetry Festival

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Lucy Rose Kerr – MA Illustration Graduate, receives glowing review from graduate placement at InterAnima

Lucy Rose Kerr, who graduated from MA Illustration: Authorial Practice at Falmouth in 2014 has received a glowing review from Becalelis Brodskis, Creative Director at InterAnima.  Lucy was taken on at InterAnima under their placement scheme and has been named as an “outstanding employee”.

InterAnima are a community interest company ‘who use interdisciplinary arts to animate the stories that need to be told.  Celebrating individual expression and breathing life into community led positive solutions.  All profits support their social objectives: to use interdisciplinary arts to facilitate community development.’

Lucy was tasked with turning an extraordinary manuscript by artist Nicky LoutitNew years day is Black  into a format ready to approach to publishers.  Lucy worked with ‘sensitivity, creativity and diligence’ when taking on the manuscript and it certainly paid off as InterAnima were overjoyed to confirm last week that New years day is Black will be published this coming Autumn!

The book has also been given a glowing review from Eimear Mcbridge, Author of “A girl is a Half-Formed Thing”

Right from the start I found it completely gripping. Beautiful and horrifying… The human story had me at its beck and call the whole way through – utterly extraordinary. The evocation of that very particular loneliness irrelevant children feel was almost unbearable: Congratulations to Nicky Loutit for making work out of the terrible. Eimear McBride

Published by Propolis, New years day is Black is available to buy now, direct from their online book store – https://propolisbooks.co.uk/products/new-years-day-is-black-by-nicky-loutit 

 

MA Illustration student, Ellie Robinson-Carter wins The Andy Hocking Award at the FXU Awards

Ellie Robinson-Carter, a student of Falmouth’s MA Illustration won The Andy Hocking Award for Outstanding Contribution to Community Engagement at the FXU awards on Monday evening for her role in founding and running the Penryn Memory Café.   Ellie was presented the award by John Dukes, Police Representative for Falmouth University and the University of Exeter.

Ellie, a qualified dementia champion, supported by a small committee of volunteers, set up the Penryn Memory Café which launched back in September 2015.  Ellie continues to manage all aspects of the Memory Café from organising and leading activities at the fortnightly meets, to managing and recruiting new volunteers, maintaining and making new links with other community groups, attendance at local events to raise awareness of the Café and holding the monthly committee meetings.

The Memory Café welcomes those living with dementia and their carers to meet for activities, refreshments, to talk about their life stories and to help them meet new people and build relationships.  Since launching, the project has attracted a number of different society groups, creating a very important and diverse link with the local community which has rarely been seen before.  The Café meets on a regular basis every first and third Thursday of the month at the Penryn Temperance Hall.

If you would like to find out more about the Memory Café, you can email Ellie at: Erobinsoncarter78@googlemail.com.