The Temporary Society of Authorial Illustrators is a group of recent graduates and current students of University College Falmouth’s Illustration: Authorial Practice MA. The ethos of this course is to encourage students to identify and explore new contexts for the culture of illustration. This openness to novel forms and ideas with regards to illustration is reflected in the diversity of stylistic and ideological concerns of the collective concerns, which often lie outside of the conventional boundaries ascribed to commercial illustration. Within our group artists are producing abstract images, making installations from their images, using images to tell oblique narratives, and experimenting with improvised drawing on a massive scale. What unites all these diverse practitioners is a shared sense of excitement at the possibilities for new forms for illustration to take and new contexts for it to exist in. As a collective we have a shared interest in the conscious employment of creative process. Constraints and games are used as an aid to creativity; they are often used in the form of creative collaborations between members of the collective. These activities range from improvisation to parlour games, sometimes developing into more complex and deliberate devices taking influence from diverse sources. These include the Oulipo movement, Luke Reinhart’s Dice Man experiments and Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies. The latter have been used for more elaborate collaborations resulting in some surprising, occasionally baffling, but always interesting results.
The Tale of Thomas Dudley
The story is set in Treverro, a fictional fishing village in Cornwall during the late 18th Century. Edward Dalton is an artist/ writer who finds a letter addressed to Thomas Dudley, Customs Officer and previous occupant. Intrigued by the architecture, local legends and other hidden letters, Dalton soon discovers the village is holding a secret.
My practice explores the idea of immersive narrative environments by combining 2D visual language and text into handmade 3D models. I am working to the concept of deception, where narrative triggers embedded in the illustrations, text and model reveal the secrets of Thomas Dudley. The story is non linear and the audience can ‘walk’ freely around the environment. The model holds a level of interaction in which the audience can pull out walls, lift rooftops and open pieces of furniture to find narrative clues.
I have a passion for history and period architecture and although this story is fictional, through extensive research I have tried to make it as authentic to the period as possible. The piece is a concept idea for interactive narrative and I can see it working well within an exhibition space for local museums and heritage industries. I plan to further develop the narrative story after the MA course.
Our first collaborative project ‘Ways to Hide a Rag Fief’ is now in print! It takes the form of a beautiful A5 booklet and if anyone wants a copy then let us know. Now have fun spotting the giraffes..