5.2.2 Tales from the Edge: the Island

A satirical narrative about islands and insularity underpinning Brexit debates, based on reflections on the history of the Island off St Ives.

A bringing together of the above together with new images and my own text from an annotated sketchbook and diary as a humorous/semi-serious look at life, art and tourism in St Ives. Looking particularly at ideas of ‘Englishness’ – bearing in mind the context of Brexit and the international nature of St Ives tourism.

Builds on work for Printmaking 1 and Illustration 1 on St Ives but in the wider context of tourism and development in Cornwall as a whole.

See: St Ives illustration and printmaking 

As part of this body of work I develop:

  • a concertina sketchbook on ‘Walking St Ives’.
  • a series of infographic documentary prints on aspects of St Ives History
  • an on-line ‘St Ives Experience’ and/or book
  • portfolios of photographs, prints and illustrations sent to different on-line image agencies

It will continue my consideration of what might be meant by ‘alternative documentary’ in the light of discussions around walking and psychogeography and selection and treatment of what I draw and how I draw it in relation to both ‘visible’ and ‘invisible’ dimensions of:

  • Whose place? different perspectives and interests. Looking particularly at what might be meant by ‘the female gaze’ and ‘multiculturalism’
  • When place? places change over time – even over a few seconds short term, long term, historical perspective and layers – St Ives has a long and colourful history going back to ?? times
  • Subjective perspectives: exploration and deepening understanding over time and ways in which other people have translated what they see into images, including St Ives artists
  • Imagination: how I want things to be and why. Selective erasure (eg cars and rubbish bins). Simplification and expressive representation.
  • Who is meant by ‘you’? Myself?  An absent imaginary friend you wish was here? A voyeur always watching? Unseen presence of different artists who affect one’s perception of the place?
  • Where or what is ‘here’? Which ‘here’ are ‘you’ at? Different focus and viewpoint.
  • When? places change over time – even over a few seconds – short term, long term, historical perspective and layers – the past is always present
  • Subjective perception, exploration and deepening understanding over time
    Imagination and how I want things to be. The ‘here’ I want you to see (if I like you) Selective erasure (eg cars and rubbish bins)

Although these questions might at first appear rather philosophical (that was encouraged by the brief), they have important implications for other types of documentary and travel illustration. Going beyond just sketching and recording what can never be ‘objective observations’ to make more explicit and interesting the biases and thoughts of the illustrator. It will explore different ways of visually representing the visible reality compared to an ‘invisible’ history and my own imagination.

In this assignment I am particularly interested in the role of individual subjective perspectives, perception and imagination in ‘documenting’ reality and communicating a message and how ‘real’ and ‘fake/imagined’ can be visually combined or distinguished. Linking with my interest in ‘feminist gaze’, it considers what difference my gender might make to what I see, what I drawn and how I draw it. It will explore different ways of visually representing the visible reality compared to an ‘invisible’ history and my own imagination.

I will continue to explore and experiment with ways that style and technique affect the interpretations given to the same text and vice versa. In particular comparing what can be done on the iPad compared to Photoshop and Illustrator.