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.
My work is motivated by storytelling and characterisation. Part of this is expressing journey, experience and individual character traits. I enjoy exploring the contrast between the everyday with the imaginary and fictitious. In my narratives I incorporate elements of the everyday to express a familiar world within which the fantastical is possible. Sometimes, I find this spills into the humorous.
Throughout this book, I try to speak about how our minds work and what we perceive. By trying to pin down how thought and imaginary experience occurs, I hope to create new realities on paper. With my drawings and narratives I want to suggest not just what is seen, but also imply the world of the unseen.
I am inspired by the scope for variation that has occurred in recent years for the graphic novel. In the age of Authorial Illustration, it is inspiring to know that our reading material is becoming ever more varied, and I want to make sure that my work is a part of this diversity.
Rebecca K Jones
‘He was as tall as a 6 foot 3 inch tree’ – Jack Bross.
John spends a great deal of time worrying about consciousness, the absurd and why we seem to find it all so funny. The rest of the time he spends drawing pictures, cutting things out and sticking things together. Occasionally he does all of these things at the same time, which makes him laugh, almost uncontrollably and sometimes for several hours.
John finds it useful to engage with formal practice and structures such as typography, screen printing, paper engineering and prose as these create a playground for his expressive and cartoonish tendencies whilst preventing them from running wild and possibly getting into trouble. In the event that these tendencies do escape it can be a long and tedious expedition to get them all back in the pen with the door firmly shut.
John Dunbar Kilburn
The Witch’s Room is story, puzzle and exploration of associative meaning-making, operative in multiple modes and framed by the code of the Gothic. Designed as interactive fiction for the iPad, it employs the hermeneutic qualities inherent within narrative as a means of enticing and engaging the investigative gaze. Five objects of great supernatural potency have been removed by subterfuge from the home of their magician collector, Charles Paget Wade. Each object has a prodigious history, leaving traces of its presence strewn across archives, ancient grimoires and popular culture. To unravel the secrets of the objects, close reading of this evidence is required to discover the keystone passwords that unlock the door to the Room where they are reunited with their collector.
Rather than using prose or linear methods of storytelling, The Witch’s Room deploys environmental cues to weave its elusive narrative. Tmesis, literally ‘cutting’, provides structural and aesthetic fundament; imaginary events are interleaved with historical ones, the popular with the experimental, authorship with authorlessness, creating a defamiliarised world as multifaceted montage.The Witch’s Room binds together convention and invention to produce a Frankenstein narrative sutured from fragments as a means of rebalancing the mundane with the mystical and to restore Magic to its rightful place in British cultural history.