My husband and I were thrilled to be part of the incredible ‘Fact and Fable’ night for the Guernsey Literary Festival held at Castle Cornet on Friday 16th May. We performed a shadow play of Magnus’s new story ‘The Invasion of the Wavelets’ in the bottom of the Gunners’ Tower. It was damp, dark and echoing – the perfect place to tell this folktale set on Guernsey’s south-west coast. Drums beat, darkness surrounded us and magic slipped in for a minute. Now work starts on putting the book of the tale together as I pick up my paint brushes to illustrate it.
The Ghost of Me
Belle Vue no longer
It carries another name,
Houses another family.
I sit in my hire car
Watching the ghost of me,
Standing at my bedroom window,
Sunshine catches the house.
Shadow dad opens the garage doors,
Smiles in my direction.
Cut flowers in the front room window.
Bunches flowers Somewhere deep inside my history.
She would have closed all the curtains for a funeral.
I drive away
From the ghost of me
And shadow dad Starts to scythe the hedge.
I have been totally thrilled to be involved in the Guernsey Literary Festival’s Illustration project this month. I chose Marlene Morris’ haunting “The Ghost of Me” to illustrate from a selection of winning entries in the festival’s open poetry competition. I live in the house where I spent much of my teenage years, every day the ghost of me confronts me as I do the washing up, look out across our garden or read to my children. Our house grows, evolves, transforms and remains. I am very proud to show my work along side Year 10 students with whom I taught two Saturday morning workshops and artists Hugh Rose and Darren Cramner. The exhibition runs at the Gatehouse Gallery for the rest of the May – please pop by and take a look.
Raw, spellbinding, elegant: this book is a fairytale enthusiast’s dream. Based on the Tinderbox by Hans Christian Anderson, it leads us down dark corridors and through secret mazes to a place between waking and sleeping. I loved it so and the bright red cherries on the cake are the wonderful illustrations by David Roberts.
We are thrilled to have released our book ‘The Soul of the Sea’ a tribute to Victor Hugo’s ‘Toilers of the Sea’ at the Guernsey Arts Commission Arts Sunday. Despite the wind and my freezing feet we sold lots of copies and really enjoyed talking to everyone who popped by to look at our work. The book is now available to buy island wide or through this blog, details of which are included in my previous post. Thanks to all who have supported us we are so proud to have finally got it out there.
We’re currently featuring on Ormerland as part of promoting our fully illustrated ballad adaptation of Victor Hugo’s ‘The Toilers of the Sea’. Click here to see the article.
If you’d like to pre-order a copy, please drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – copies are £15 each in hardback – but trust me, they look really good (thanks to James, our designer!). I’m happy to accept a Paypal transfer or a cheque; if postage is required too, I’ll price and arrange that on a case-by-case basis.
If you’d rather wait, copies will be on sale as part of Arts Sunday on 9th June in St Peter Port and stocked in The Press Shop and other major outlets around Town from then on.
Our new book, ‘The Soul of the Sea’, in shops June 9th 2013. The images were originally part of an exhibition held at The Gallery, Mansell Street, Guernsey in October 2008. They are painted on a large scale and my aim was to evoke the romanticism of Hugo’s story as well as the lyricism of my husband’s poetry. I wanted to develop the flow and immediacy of my earlier Lamia series in colour and to do this I had to take risks with the paint allowing it to take shape on its own terms. I love the life force and expressive potential of watercolour and ink. My work now sits somewhere between illustration and pure painting. At times on my Fine Art degree course illustration was a bit of a dirty word; something that tutors warned us to stir clear of in our discipline; however, it was something I was always drawn to. I am greatly inspired by the dark brooding works in ink of Victor Hugo himself and used shapes and imagery echoed from his work in these paintings.
We have lift off. Our book ‘The Soul of the Sea’ is due to be published this month and will hit the shelves on June 9th, just in time for the Guernsey Arts Sunday. A labour of love, I am so proud that my work appears alongside my husband’s stunning poem based on Victor Hugo’s epic tale. Telling stories makes me happy and lights me up inside. Getting lost in paint, the way it moves, stains, ripples, creeps across the paper. Creation for creation’s sake, whether it be a book, a cake or a letter. Every day needs a little of it.
Victor Hugo was a resident of our beautiful Island for many years and wrote some of his greatest works here. His book “The Toliers of the Sea” is set in Guernsey and brilliantly showcases his huge, crashing, romantic view of the world. The book is wild like the ocean Hugo so loved and also as I imagine Hugo was himself, untamed and at times ferocious. I love this quote by Jean Cocteau which brilliantly captures and indeed characterises the great man. A few years ago, I had the extreme pleasure of drawing in Hauteville House as I prepared to illustrate Hugo’s book (it was turned into an epic ballad by my husband titled “The Soul of the Sea”). The staff very kindly allowed me time in the rooms alone to sketch and soak up the atmosphere. As the morning light steamed through the windows, I imagined Hugo walking around the corner to meet me. It was as if I was in a time machine, and his presence was oh, so close.