Blimey! I just realised I haven’t touched my blog for over two months. But that does not mean I’ve been lazy or that I’ve turned my back on Art. Well, apart from the 5 weeks of holidays I spent travelling Germany and during which I only made a couple of drawings. But I guess it’s important to have a break every once in a while, even from the things you love.
Back in Edinburgh, I threw myself into a commission by this year’s Wigtown Book Festival, for which I was the Artist in Residence last year. I was very happy when they asked me to come back to carry out a project to create awareness of the international network of book towns. The original brief was to make shop signs for each of Wigtown’s nine bookshops and to translate each shop name into the language of one other book town. I took this idea a bit further and thought it might be nice to have something a bit more fun for people to interact with. So I came up with the idea of creating a series of peepboards that would feature one character relevant to the literature and culture of the booktown presented. The towns we have on board are Redu (BE), St-Pierre-de-Clages (CH), Bécherel (FR), Clunes (AU), Wünsdorf (GER), Fjærland (NO), Bredevoort (NL), Urueña (ES) and Montereggio (IT).
It was real fun to do research into each place and to find out about their stories. Then I had to deal with a few technical things such as what should the weight and size of the boards be, and how big is the average face? I have to admit I love that part of the process, playing around with a tape measure and figuring out how to realise the initial idea. Looking around for inspiration I came across many peepboards online, often a bit tacky, stood at piers or made for weddings. And while I imagine these to be a lot of fun, my aim was to create something a little different. I was hoping to give my designs a bit more of a crafted appearance using a reduced colour palette and my own papercut style. So I set about making large papercut stencils, with my fingers crossed that it would all work out the way I planned…
The images below will give you an idea of my process, from creating the large papercut stencils (and trying them out on myself and my friends) to the cutting and painting of the wooden boards. Once I have brought the gang to Wigtown next week I will make sure I take pictures of each of them in their new homes.