Drawing Blood, Drawing Poison, Drawing Fire - a pre-launch Q&A with the artist, Simon Grennan.
Funded by the Arts Council and led by artist Simon Grennan, ‘Drawing Blood’ is a new collaborative art project that creates a new online exhibition of twenty new, original animated artworks. Hosted by Gladstone’s Library, the online exhibition will also be available at Contemporary Art Space Chester and at Aura libraries in North Wales, including Broughton, Buckley, Mold, Deeside, Holywell, Connah’s Quay and Flint.
The new artworks are inspired by a book Simon found in the Gladstone’s Library collections. Dating from 1878, Gladstone from Judy’s Point of View collects cartoons satirising one of the hot topics of the period – liberal political opinion. As one of the major Liberal politicians, William Ewart Gladstone is often in the firing line of Judy’s cartoonists. In the tradition of political artists everywhere their pens puncture any political pomposity, drawing Gladstone (and others) not as respected statesman but as wobbly juggler, unstable acrobat, indecisive whirligig, pram-pushing lady, and many more.
Ahead of the exhibition’s launch, Simon gave us some exclusive insights into the production process. They’ll be posted on this blog each week: for a full list, please visit the project’s home page: https://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/reading-rooms/digital-gladstone/drawing-blood-drawing-poison-drawing-fire
Why did you choose to animate these drawings?
The success of physical comedy and drama relies upon the timing of different movements – I feel that a situation is funny because of the way it moves. Actual movement is suggested to me by the pantomime feel of the Victorian cartoons and it was a small step for me to think that I might use the cartoons as the base for moving images. We are also used to consuming moving images on a range of platforms, which means that they have a potentially wide audience. Finally, although all pictures show stories in some way, groups and sequences of images have a unique history in story telling, with its own associations and traditions. I wanted to tap into these.
Pam wnaethoch chi ddewis animeiddio’r lluniau hyn?
Mae llwyddiant comedi corfforol a drama yn dibynnu ar amseru gwahanol symudiadau – rwy’n teimlo bod sefyllfa yn ddoniol oherwydd y ffordd mae’n symud. Mae union symudiad yn cael ei awgrymu i mi gan deimlad pantomeim y cart?ns Fictoraidd ac roedd yn gam bach i mi feddwl efallai y byddwn yn defnyddio’r cart?ns fel sail ar gyfer delweddau sy’n symud. Rydym hefyd wedi arfer defnyddio delweddau symudol ar ystod o blatfformau, sy’n golygu fod ganddynt o bosibl gynulleidfa eang. Yn olaf, er bod pob llun yn dangos straeon mewn rhyw ffordd, mae gan grwpiau a phatrymau delweddau hanes unigryw mewn dweud stori, gyda’i gysylltiadau a thraddodiadau ei hun. Roeddwn eisiau cyffwrdd ar y rhain.