Thursday, 28 July 2016

What's the story? - part 1

We thought it would be fun to have a bit of a guessing game in this post that will be ongoing and always called: 

'What's the Story?'

The images below are clues to a story that will be part of The Story Cabinet - remember our previous post where we told you a little bit about that?  Fabula artist Dagmara Rudkin has made these beautiful prints, collages and drawings at Hove Museum, where we are currently artists in residence. We hope you like them as much as we do. But what story do they tell? Can you guess? 

Dagmara hasn't told us what she has in mind because that would spoil the guessing game. You may remember from our previous post about The Story Cabinet that it will refer to a fairy tale or myth. 

The above image shows a very decorative print and Dagmara has told us that it was made from nettle leaves. Could nettles themselves be a clue to the story? 

This image is part collage and part drawing. It has a wing but also resembles a human and Dagmara appears to be developing a character. As inspiration for this piece she has been drawing and photographing dolls from the museum's permanent collection.  These can be found in a room called The Wizard's Attic, upstairs at Hove Museum. This contains a fantastic collection of toys and childhood memorabilia.  We're spending a lot of time there - it's well worth a visit.

So - what stories, myths or fairy tales, do you know that feature wings or feathers? What kind of wings are these? Thinking about the dolls and the leaves, we're wondering if scale is an important clue? Perhaps the leaves could represent trees? 

Here's the last clue for this post (but there will be more to come in future posts about this story and others).  We're going to tell you, in case it helps, that when Dagmara sent this one she said it was 'a bit more obscure'. 

What's the significance of the hands? - hands with leaf textures that look like veins or wrinkles? Perhaps a connection to nature, time, or age is important? Numbers are often significant in fairy tales - are there any significant numbers here? 

We've got some ideas now but, as we said - we don't know for sure what the story is - so we might be sending you in the wrong direction!

We're looking forward to the next clue from Dagmara and we'll post it here soon.

Dagmara Rudkin is a Brighton-based visual artist whose practice crosses the boundaries of fine art, design and craft.  For more information about her work please go to the Fabula website

If you'd like to see for yourself what we are doing and how we work - do come down and see us during our residency at Hove Museum. 

The next time we will be there is Monday 1st August. 

We are easy to spot because we are all wearing black T shirts with white question marks on and we'll be very happy to talk with you and show you our work.

If you'd like to read Hove Museum's post about our residency in their 'News From The Museum' - you can do so via this link:

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Animal Characters by Pip Carter

 Here are some new images from Fabula member Pip Carter. Pip has recently started working in ink/nib and watercolour wash - she is really enjoying the results and it's great to see what she's been working on. Her focus has been on developing her portfolio for the children’s book market. She has been drawing animals and children with an aim to keep a strong feeling of energy, dynamism and emotion in her work - we think it's working!

During her MA Pip developed a picture book for older children. If you'd like to see that and other examples of her work please go to or the Fabula website
In the meantime, we hope you enjoy these characters!

Monday, 25 July 2016

Silence! - another illustrated word

Another interpretation of SILENCE. For this one I was thinking about how the snow insulates us from sound, all the traffic stops and life can become a bit simpler (in some respects) for a while. You can see more of my work at or on the Fabula website

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Our story making collaboration - The Story Cabinet - shh!

Right, here is a little visual taster to get you in the mood.

It's very much work in progress and so it's hard to say exactly what the finished piece will be. In a way, we don't want to spoil the surprise: however, we're going to tell you a little bit about it now and more to come later.

What it will have are some well-known stories woven into the finished piece and it's very likely that you will see some influences from Hove Museum's collection.

One certainty is our intended audience  - we are making it to appeal to families.  Another is that the combination of us all working together will result in something that wouldn't be possible for any of us on our own. This work may end up described in many ways once it is finished. We're thinking it will be exciting, beautiful, mysterious, educational, interesting and fun - but we are biased and we couldn't possibly specify how and why just yet!

We'd love to tell you more but you'll just have to wait for further posts!

You can see for yourself how our work is developing on selected Mondays until December because The Royal Pavilion & Museums have agreed to have us as artists in residence at Hove Museum. The next one will be in August - and i'll post the date in advance here.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Hove Museum - a place that inspires us to make art and stories... ideal opportunity for Fabula!

In case you didn't see our first post - thanks to The Royal Pavilion & Museums this is where we are having our residency and producing work towards a family friendly exhibition and events to be held at the museum in December - we will be posting regularly about it all here.

Next Monday 18th July we will be at the museum again - we are a very friendly bunch and we'd love for you to come and talk to us and see what we are doing.

Here is a taster of what happened last time Fabula artists met to 'make' together at the Museum. 

This is Richard Clarke's work - these are explorations of ideas for a landscape towards a collaborative piece we are all working on. Richard Clarke is a multi-award winning Filmmaker and Designer. His works are considered to be a humorous and magical exploration of the human psyche. 

Here you can see the materials that Dagmara Rudkin has bought to the museum to work from. Dagmara's usual practice crosses the boundaries of Fine Art, Design and Craft. In her recently completed MA she used animations, paintings, illustrations and puppetry performance to tell a cautionary tale for children.

Katie Perret is working out some ideas here.  Katie is a photographer who uses analogue photography and her work is concerned with the quiet act of looking and perceiving.

Each artist uses their preferred working method - drawing, writing, photographs, prints or constructing maquettes to build upon their ideas towards finished pieces. 

Dagmara uses delicate tissue paper here in her working process.

If you'd like more information about Fabula artists (we are a big group!) please go to

It's very special to have the support of the local museums because, although we have many overseas members, we are a Brighton-based art collective, formed here in 2014. Having the time and space to work at Hove Museum, surrounded by so much to capture our imaginations is very timely for us as a collective.

We're excited by the chance to connect with the local public through the residency so do come and see us next Monday 18th July -  or on on selected Mondays (check this blog)  until December.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

SILENCE - illustrated word by Juliette Rajak

Juliette has made this sensitive drawing of a sleeping child to illustrate SILENCE. She enjoys creating new ideas for narratives and likes to work with traditional processes, such as etching and aquatint, mixing them with collage and other media.

Monday, 11 July 2016

A little look back - Fabula at Phoenix Gallery - exhibition wins an award

In May and June we were pleased to exhibit at The Phoenix Gallery in Brighton as part of the 'Press & Release 2016' bookarts exhibition. We were thrilled to hear that the exhibition, curated by Maddy Rosenberg and designed by Curious Space, was the
winner of the Brighton Fringe Visual Arts Award 2016. We'd like to thank Phoenix Gallery for inviting us to be part of this exciting exhibition and congratulate them on winning the award.

The north gallery had an amazing exhibition of international book artists curated by Maddy Rosenberg.  The work was displayed impressively on structures designed by Curious Space and built by Ben Thomson.

Our work was exhibited with Sussex Bookarts Collective in the South Gallery in a display called 'Stories about Stories' - definitely what we're about! Also we took part in the table top book event 'Connect and Collect' and Fabula members Vanessa Marr and Pip Carter ran a workshop making handmade books.

Photos below show a cabinet of examples of our work that gave a flavour of Fabula.  The cabinet contained picture books, small models and books made to show working process, single images in sequence, narrative textiles, handmade books and short stories. There was also a chance to see films made by the five film makers in Fabula who also had their films on show throughout the exhibition.

The images below show the workshop led by Vanessa Marr and Pip Carter and some examples of books made.  This was part of the 'Connect and Collect' event. It was a lively but relaxed space where members of the public had a chance to have a go at making handmade books.

We were part of a tabletop exhibition during the 'Connect and Collect' event and all of our books were on display.

Looking forward to the next exhibition, coming soon - watch this space!

Thursday, 7 July 2016

SILENCE - illustrated with analogue photography

Katie Perret has made this beautiful response to the word SILENCE using analogue photography. Fundamentally her work is about the quiet act of looking and perceiving, observing the usually unobserved spaces and capturing the light of this space on the negative and weaving these images together to form narratives. More of Katie's work can be seen at and at our our next exhibition in December - details to be announced soon!

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

SILENCE - the new word!

Here's Clara Weifu's illustration for SILENCE. See more of her work at
We really like Clara's drawing style which worked brilliantly for her MA project. It's a story about a traveller who falls asleep and the dreams that he has - you can see this on her website too.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Paper cut outs and shadows

Carrying on with our illustrated words - this is Penelope Chongs response to the word REPEAT.
See more of Penelope's work at