On Friday I went to the Opening event for the Plymouth University Illustration Years One and Two Show at Victuals Cafe at Royal William Yard. The artworks are printed onto long strips of paper hung from the ceiling in double-sided rows so you can walk up and down between them like alleyways of artwork. I met several of the illustrators whose work is on display and saw a lot of different styles of work.
Isabelle Hobbs is a second year student and she says she usually works on till rolls to make long streams of art. She told me she focuses on drawing women and their faces, hair and outfits and said “subconsciously I think I draw myself a lot”. She said that for her “doodling is a natural process, like breathing”. I like how in some areas Isabelle puts in lots of detail but in other areas her drawing is really simple.
Jennie Scampton‘s piece was for a project on narrative sequence and is the first comic she has made. She said “I love anything to do with legends, myths and history” and so she chose to draw her comic about the Egyptian Gods onto a real papyrus scroll and within the shape of a sarcophagus. Jennie’s comic is really cleverly done and the story is very funny.
Seren Pascoe-Davies’ said she did her colourful piece Psychotropics on the theme of Visions. She drew the line art on A3 paper then added colour using a tablet and Photoshop. I like the colours she has chosen which work really well together and her curly line work. The piece feels very dreamlike.
Iona Desouza told me that she is interested in rural traditions and “things being lost”. I like how this illustration is quite busy with layers of pencil drawn objects on top of each other.
Keir Nicholson‘s comic focuses on a character called Steve the Robot. Keir described how in his comic Steve goes to work on a normal day but that “his day takes a turn for the worst” and that the story “is about how terrorism can strike at any time”. I like the limited colour palette Keir has chosen to use and his cute character.
Sophie Mahadevan has two pieces on display. She described the process of making this print to me, and it is a complicated process involving etching on to a copper plate then dipping the plate into acid multiple times to create layers of depth and make the print look three-dimensional. She said she had never tried this before and she really enjoyed how the first year of her course was very experimental. I think the tones of blue used in this make the piece seem melancholy.
Chloe Drage‘s piece on display is very peaceful and she told me that her goal was to “use nature to tackle depression”. She usually works in pencil and said “I don’t usually work digitally, so I stepped out of my comfort zone” when working on this piece. This was my favourite piece in the exhibition and I think this piece would be great concept art for the opening of a video game. It is calm but mysterious, I wonder if she is a tiny girl on normal sized lily pads or a normal sized girl in a world of giants.
This exhibition is on until the 22nd of May and anyone interested in illustration or what young artists are making in Plymouth should try to go along and see it themselves. I want to thank all of the artists above for speaking to me about their work. Thank you also to John Kilburn and Ashley Potter who spoke to me about the exhibition and are Plymouth University BA Hons Illustration tutors.
Some of the other pieces I enjoyed at the exhibition are pictured below but unfortunately I didn’t get to meet these artists. I would be happy to add credit for the art and a link to all of the artists in my photographs below, just contact me and I will edit my post 😀
Edited to add: The illustrations below are by Plymouth University students Daniele Caruso, Elise Arden-Trew, Sophie Evans, and Millicent Venton.