Drawing Blood Q&A, week 2 - what inspired the title of the project?

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Drawing Blood Q&A, week 2 - what inspired the title of the project?

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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

What inspired the title of the project?

The group of short animations, inspired by the book of Victorian political cartoons, is called Drawing Blood, Drawing Poison, Drawing Fire. The title is a joke on the various meanings of the word ‘drawing’ in the three phrases. Today, ‘drawing blood’ means to wound someone. Alternatively, ‘drawing fire’ is to direct hostile attention away from someone or a situation, to save them. Finally, ‘drawing poison’ means removing the harmful aspect of a toxic situation. Of course, these uses of the word ‘drawing’ don’t have anything to do with ‘drawing a picture’, which means making marks to create an image. That’s the joke. The drawings that make the animations in my work also aim to ‘draw’ in the three other ways, although it is unclear what is being drawn from, or out of, or away from what. Are my animated drawing attacking these Victorian cartoons, or are they directing attention elsewhere or making them less toxic?

Beth wnaeth ysbrydoli teitl y prosiect?

Mae’r gr?p o animeiddiadau byr, a ysbrydolwyd gan y llyfr cart?ns gwleidyddol Fictoraidd yn cael ei alw yn Tynnu Gwaed, Tynnu Gwenwyn, Cynnau Tân. Mae’r teitl yn jôc ar wahanol ystyron y gair ‘tynnu llun’ yn y dair brawddeg. Heddiw, mae ‘tynnu gwaed’ yn golygu anafu rhywun. Neu, mae ‘cynnau tân’ yn cyfeirio sylw gelyniaethus i ffwrdd oddi wrth rhywun neu sefyllfa, i’w hachub nhw.  Yn olaf, mae ‘tynnu gwenwyn’ yn golygu dileu agwedd niweidiol sefyllfa wenwynig. Wrth gwrs, nid oes gan y defnydd hwn o’r gair ‘tynnu’ unrhyw beth i’w wneud gyda ‘thynnu llun’ sy’n golygu creu marciau i greu delwedd. Dyna ydy’r jôc. Mae’r lluniau sy’n gwneud yr animeiddiadau yn fy ngwaith hefyd yn anelu i ‘dynnu’ yn y dair ffordd wahanol arall, er nid yw’n glir beth sy’n cael ei dynnu o, neu allan o, neu oddi wrth beth. Ydy fy llun o waith animeiddio yn ymosod ar y cart?ns Fictoraidd hyn, neu a ydynt yn llywio’r sylw i rywle arall neu yn eu gwneud yn llai gwenwynig?