Thursday, 29 September 2016

'The Camp' at a London Film Festival and Hove Museum - don't miss it!

We are pleased to tell you that Madeleine Swift's film 'The Camp' has been chosen as part of the official selection for the the Factual Animated Film Fuss Festival - a film festival that celebrates animated documentary's. 

Madeleine's film is a very touching story about childhood, nostalgia, family love and keeping important memories alive. The story, written and narrated in text by Madeleine, is really brought to life through the way that she has used archival materials and music from the time to create her illustrations and animations. This film is really special because it has the capacity to connect with people emotionally and when it was played at her MA show there was not a dry eye in the house! 

Album covers from the eighties animated to music of the day to bring memories alive.
An illustration of the actual cassette player that Madeleine owned as a child.

We particularly like her animated drawings that, with music and narration, illustrate teenage love on a holiday camp so well. 
Stills from the animation - teenage memories at the disco.

Part of this artist's skill is her way with words and for this reason she is the best person to explain how she came to make this remarkable film: 

'When I was eight years old, and after a difficult year, my grandad bought a small holiday camp set above a beautiful cove in Devon. My parents went onto run the camp for 30 years and I adored it there. This special place became important to me in more ways than one: the camp being a holiday destination combined with it's magical setting made it the most exciting place a child could be, but more than that it contained people who gave the place its heart and soul. 

A still from The Camp
After the camp went into decline it finally closed it's gates for the last time in 2007. From that moment on I had a fear of losing the memories and an overwhelming need to record my feelings of the camp and was led to the MA in Sequential Design/Illustration at the University of Brighton where I did just that. 'The Camp' animation formed part of my final project, completed in 2015, and tells my story through animation, photography, illustration and original cine-film footage'. Madeleine Swift.

The festival is on in East London from 30th September-2nd October. 'The Camp' will be screened on Saturday 1st October as part of 'Onion Skins: Personal Stories' click here to purchase your ticket. 
If you are based in Brighton and Hove and unable to make the film festival you will have another chance to see this film at our forthcoming exhibition at Hove Museum from December 3rd 2016 - March 2017.

Fabula Collective  member Madeleine Swift is a writer and illustrator based in Brighton. She creates books and films around personal stories using writing, archive material, illustration and animation in order to communicate the emotion underneath. 

A still showing a mix of cine film and illustrations

Text and reproductions of actual signs from the holiday camp are used powerfully in the film.

A little girls memories of a holiday camp

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Wild Animals in Children's Literature

Pip Carter has sent us these interesting illustrations for us to show you. This is recent work that she made to illustrate an article titled 'Bears, Bunnies and Black Beauty - the Role of Animals in Children's Literature' 

The first page shows a boy dressing up as a lion with his face painted.
The page is turned to reveal a real lion eating a zebra. This contrasts the child's imagined world with the gruesome reality of a real lion. A die cut hole allows both images to have the same face and visual mirroring links the two images.
Pip says she enjoyed drawing a scene of gore in her sweet children's book style.

The article explores the roles of animals in children's literature: at a young age animals are seen by the child as having human characteristics or behaviours (anthropomorphic) and at an older age children can read more about the naturalistic view of animals.

Pip's illustrations remind us of 'Where the Wild things Are" by Maurice Sendak. He used wild animals as a metaphor for the powerful feelings being expressed by his main character Max - another way that animals are used in children's literature. 

These illustrations from Pip have got us thinking more about the role of animals within children's literature - thanks Pip! To see more examples of Pip's work please go to the Fabula Collective website.

Pip was commissioned by The Ideas House on behalf of Capital Generation Partners.  The concept and art direction was by Fenton + Partners. The article and illustration will feature in Capital Generation Partners annual magazine ‘Summer Notes 2016’ issued for select clients.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

What's The Story? - part 2

Do you remember a post called What's the Story Part 1 about some art work made by Dagmara Rudkin giving clues to a fairy tale that we wanted you to guess?  Well, this is the post that will give you the answer (but not straight away)! First we will elaborate on some previous clues and then show some more images by Dagmara before we reveal all.

Remember this? This was the last visual clue on the previous 'What's The Story' post. Dagmara said this was a bit obscure and last time when we were wondering what it meant we said:

 " 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?"

Well here's a further clue: Numbers are important in this fairy tale but not the number that might come to mind from looking at this hand. Now that we know the answer we'd say that these hands, amongst other things, are saying something about work.

If you look at the previous What's The Story post you will see feathers and wings drawn to illustrate this fairy tale. So we thought you'd like to see some more of Dagmara's drawings that were made at Hove Museum in response to their temporary exhibition "Birds of a Feather". The colourful collages were inspired by the beautiful drawings of exotic birds also exhibited there.  There is still a chance to see the 'Birds of a Feather' exhibition until 15th November.

Dagmara drawing birds at Hove Museum

The answer to What's the Story coming soon....!

We hope you enjoyed that visual interlude!  The important clues were the nettles (the number of leaves printed and nettles as part of the hand ), wings from swans, clothing or characters that had wings or feathers. 

The answer to What's the Story is ...'The Six Swans' by the Brothers Grimm.
Follow the link above to find out more about the tale and you'll be able to see how the clues relate to the story.

Fabula Collective are in residence at Hove Museum. The next time that you can come and see what we are doing at the museum is Monday 26th September. We look forward to meeting you soon.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

A new children's book by Juliette Rajak

Juliette Rajak showing the work in progress on her picture book 
Fabula member Juliette Rajak took almost two years out from studying for her masters degree to go to Australia. But she didn't take any time out from illustration - while she was there she won the Wilson Vineyard Wine Label Design Commission and was shortlisted for the Five Mile Press Illustration Prize as well as having several exhibitions of her work.

It's great to have her back in Brighton again now and although she is currently completing her MA in Sequential Design/Illustration at The University of Brighton she still found time to  come to Hove Museum to be involved in our residency there. Here she is showing work from her MA project to members of the public at Hove Museum.

Juliette's MA project has culminated in a children's picture book about the importance of 'slowing down'  - letting children experience boredom so that they can start to use their imaginations.  The story she has written and illustrated follows the imagination of a child playing with a puddle of milk on the table while her mother is busy with the housework.  The child starts to imagine herself in the miniature world of germs and so begins her adventure! It is illustrated using textures that originate from print making techniques and Juliette got inspiration from maps to develop the beautiful colour scheme.  As well as tackling the subject of 'slowing down' it gives lots of scientific information about germs.

Here are some images from the development of her book.

Juliette's book will be on show at the MA degree show at The University Gallery, Grand Parade, The University of Brighton. The show is on from 16th September (private view in the evening) until 23rd September.

It is likely that she will also exhibit images from the book at our forthcoming exhibition at Hove Museum in December and so that will be another chance to see them.

You can also see more of Juliette's work at