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 made you choose these drawings?
My new artwork only uses some of the Victorian cartoons in the 1881 book. I selected these because I made immediate association between them and some of the current situations and new images that I wanted to use in the animations. Overall, these were comic associations – I imagined quite slapstick activities happening in amongst the Victorian drawings, such as an old housemaid being fired out of a canon. If my idea of these activities made me smile immediately, then I knew that I was onto something and I added the Victorian drawing to my growing pile of materials.
Beth wnaeth i chi ddewis y darluniau hyn?
Mae fy ngwaith celf newydd ond yn defnyddio rhai o’r cart?ns Fictoraidd yn y llyfr 1881. Roeddwn wedi dewis y rhain oherwydd fy mod wedi gwneud cysylltiad uniongyrchol rhyngddyn nhw a rhai o’r sefyllfaoedd presennol a lluniau newydd yr oeddwn eisiau eu defnyddio yn yr animeiddiadau. Yn gyffredinol, roedd y rhain yn gysylltiadau comig – roeddwn yn dychmygu gweithgareddau eithaf slapstig yn digwydd ymysg y darluniau Fictoraidd, fel hen forwyn yn cael ei saethu allan o ganon. Os oedd fy syniad o’r gweithgareddau hyn yn gwneud i mi wenu ar unwaith, yna roeddwn yn gwybod fod gennyf rywbeth yma ac roeddwn yn ychwanegu’r llun Fictoraidd i fy mhentwr cynyddol o ddeunyddiau.