3.2.3 Finding Texts: Island

Identify a range of different kinds of texts as potential starting points for your assignment and use the questions above to unpick them. Try to find texts that challenge you in some way: pick an article about a subject you’re unfamiliar with, pick a journal you’ve never read. Your text could equally well be a dialogue or a set of information you want to work with.

Read and summarise the main points and produce a series of thumbnail drawings that articulate your visual thinking on how you would deal with the texts chosen considering:
– How is the content being communicated – what tone does it tak? What is the writing style?
– What form is it in – is it a story? If so, what kind of story? Is it a piece of journalism, academic non-fiction, entertainment, factual text, dialogue or opinion?
– What is the text saying? ahat is the gist of the article, the plot of the short story or the aim of a piece of information? If it’s a story, what emotional impact is it trying to create? What action or conclusion is a non-fiction text driving towards? What overall impression is the text giving you?
– Where and how does your creative response connect with the text. Are you aiming to visualise the conclusion, support the introductory premise or prioritise one aspect of the text over another?

Reflect on how the questions helped you identify a potential starting point. Did you develop your own line of questions? What decisions did you make about where your creative choices connect with the text?

Text 3: The Island

This third text developed a life of its own. Pendinas ‘the Island’ is a part of St Ives I really love. It is magical – a ‘sceptred isle set in a silver sea’ when seen at dawn from the Ayre campsite and a towering gloomy place when walking around it wishing ‘no wo/man is an island’ on a cloudy windy day. Its many faces and moods have an obvious hold on the imagination – not just mine. I had sketched around the Island for earlier OCA printmaking and illustration projects.

This text and image project started as an attempt to add some ink illustrations to the text of the tourist information board by the carpark outlining some of the history to the Island.

But in the context of the prevailing discussions around Brexit during my stays in 2019, Pendinas, my ideas on this ‘sceptred/no woman is an island’ evolved into a bringing together of the above together with new images and other historical text on St Ives as a humorous/semi-serious look at ideas of ‘Englishness’ and ‘Islands’ – bearing in mind the firm Cornish identity and calls for devolution in St Ives and the dependence on the EU and London fish markets and international tourism.

In the process I started to read more about the geology and history of St Ives and Cornwall and folk tales of stones and giants of Trencrom Hill above St Ives.

This project only asked me to consider thumbnails. I produced a series of experimental watercolour-style drawings in Adobe Sketch and Adobe Draw on my iPad (see feature image above – the only original I could salvage after update to Adobe Fresco). I then brought these into Illustrator and InDesign to create comic-style mockup of 30 pages with comic images and text replacing the original text from the information board. I experimented with different digital styles on my iPad and considered visual approaches of different St Ives artists like Arthur Wallis. Wilhelmina Barnes Graham and the expressive gouaches at the Tate exhibition of Anna Boghiguian.

This still needs a lot of work to produce anything presentable – the current insertion of photos is indicative only of some of the visual inspiration I plan to draw on, as is the variety of styles. The final version would I think be a rather childlike watercolour like ‘The Little Prince’ by St Exupery, with blind contour rough ink work as in the sketch above, and a disarmingly simple comic text. Done either by hand, or using Adobe Fresco watercolour brushes and Illustrator text. I now have a lot more text from old books in St Ives library, and interesting information from interviews with local people as part of my work on Assignment 3 TeeTotal Street. I need to rethink and streamline the overall message once the longer term outcomes of the Brexit vote become clearer by autumn next year. And meld together the Shakespeare and Donne ‘patriotic’ poems with real historical fact into a small illustrated book of wider reader interest. This is something I hope to do as part of my work for Assignment 5.