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Week 3 - Communities brief

Updated: May 4, 2023

This week we went to Chris Killip exhibition at the Photographer's Gallery, London. Transferring that sense of tight -knit sense of community in Yorkshire and North -East evidenced in Killip's photographs. I tried to re-create a sense of community through intimate details of social interaction and connection. London is ear-marked by neighbourhoods being associated with a particular community. I tried to capture these intimate moments of interaction in Chinatown, London.

There is an outward pride in showing demonstrating their culture through monuments, lanterns criss-crossing the streets, statues and monuments, sharing of culture through food - eateries and restuarants. I decided to combine the eating food and chatting at the same time. A way combining connecting across communities is through the sharing of food. In my sketches and drawings I wanted to create that sense of cross - community that is more fluid. Where people come together to enrich their experience of community and food by inviting others from different communities to experience flavourful food.

My only gripe is that communities like Chinatown how authentic is food and does it represents the food of Chinese community living in the UK or have they created a cuisine that is more palatable to western tastes? Assimilation or intergration? How much do you gain/lose culturally when a migrant establishes themselves in UK? This is hard to capture from illustrator/artist viewpoint. The only way perhaps to represent this as an artist can capture is the array of tourists and other communities that flock to the area.

Initial sketches

I could visually communicate successfully that I was sketching in Chinatown through the monuments and overhanging lanterns which identify the community concentrated in the locality.

Insert picture.

Challenges identified and overcoming them

I still struggled to capture the people walking by, instead of drawing individuals drew groups of people. After speaking to my peers, I used the technique of not lifting the pen of the paper - continuous line drawing. I continued to use ink pen to draw out my sketches. Using pencil for example gave me the option to correct what I perceived mistakes in proportionality and realism.

The continuous line drawing was successful for drawing clusters of people that I captured chatting and eating. It made spend more time observing. In addition, I relaxed that I did not have to capture a single human being completely that I could capture a finger, a face and a foot. Overlaying multiple passers-by in my sketches represent the swathe of humanity rather than individuals. This technique of image-making captures the fluidity of community in, not just physical appearance and a concentration of people. Community is in essence sharing commonalities and it I more fluid and interchangeable. Continuous line drawing technique was an appropriate and choice of media facilitated a successful outcome.

Evaluation/Reflection of today's work.

I am beginning to realise that illustration does not necessarily have to perfectly accurate and figures drawn that perfect anatomically. I am beginning to realise getting an impression down on paper or the iPad. Experimenting with techniques and media and a unique style will surface.

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