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
Where did you get the original cartoons from?
The Victorian cartoons were all published weekly in Judy magazine in London, between 1870 and 1880. In 1881, they were published again as a collection in an album titled William Gladstone from ‘Judy'’s point of view, from the last ten years. The book collects cartoons by two leading illustrators and serial papers cartoonists John Proctor and William Boucher, satirising liberal political opinion from the pages of conservative magazine Judy. The collected edition was directly aimed at readers of Judy who might want to laugh again at the cartoons and the politics via a keepsake, a ‘delux’ edition. There is a copy of this book in Gladstone’s Library, Haywarden, which might have belonged to William Gladstone himself.
Ble wnaethoch chi gael y cart?ns gwreiddiol?
Roedd y cart?ns Fictoraidd wedi eu cyhoeddi’n wythnosol yn y cylchgrawn Judy yn Llundain, rhwng 1870 a 1880. Yn 1881, cawsant eu cyhoeddi eto fel casgliad mewn albwm o dan y teitl William Gladstone from ‘Judy’s point of view, from the last ten years. Mae’r llyfr yn casglu cart?ns gan ddau ddarlunydd arweiniol a chartwnyddion papurau cyfres John Proctor a William Boucher, yn dychanu barn wleidyddol rhyddfrydig o dudalennau cylchgrawn ceidwadol Judy. Roedd y rhifyn a gasglwyd wedi’i anelu’n uniongyrchol at ddarllenwyr Judy sydd efallai eisiau chwerthin eto ar y cart?ns a’r wleidyddiaeth drwy gofrodd, rhifyn ‘arbennig’. Mae yna gopi o’r llyfr hwn yn Llyfrgell Gladstone, Penarlâg, oedd efallai yn eiddo i William Gladstone ei hun.