You are browsing the archive for 2010 May.

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by Royston

Big summer for cartoon shows

May 31, 2010 in General, News

Rude Britannia
“A stick of rock, cock?” – the classic saucy postcard by Donald McGill, from Tate Britain’s Rude Britannia exhibition

June looks like being a great month for cartoon shows, with three new exhibitions opening in London.

The big one is Rude Britannia which sees cartoons being let loose in a gallery for “proper art”, namely Tate Britain. It opens on June 9 and runs until September 5.

The exhibition explores British comic art from the 1600s to the present day and puts cartoons alongside a wide array of rude paintings, sculptures, film and photography. Ooer missus, there’s more here.

Then there’s Creations in Bad Faith, a selection of cartoons from New Humanist magazine by PCOer Martin Rowson which is at the Menier Gallery in Southwark from 8-12 June. More details here.

Opening on June 18 is Ray Lowry: London Calling, at the Idea Generation gallery in Shoreditch, which pays tribute to the cartoonist who died last October. Lowry drew for Punch, Private Eye and the NME, and was known as the rock ‘n’ roll cartoonist.

He created the iconic artwork for the Clash album London Calling, and alongside a look at his back catalogue the exhibition will feature contributions from 30 artists paying tribute to that. More details here.

Bloghorn will have more on these shows as they happen. In the meantime, Martin Rowson can be seen talking cartoons with Laurie Taylor on In Confidence tomorrow (June 1) at 10pm on the Sky Arts channel.

UPDATE: Here’s a summer cartoon show we missed: Alex in Love

Illustrators make Hay

May 28, 2010 in General, News

Hay while the sun shines Pic: hayfestival.com

The House of Illustration aims to be the world’s first centre dedicated to the art of illustration in all its forms and to create a permanent home for an enduring art.

Their grand scheme is to establish a real bricks ‘n’ mortar museum somewhat akin to London’s Cartoon Museum. In the meantime, they’re content with showing the best illustration on their website and holding the odd event to publicise the venture.

To that end, they are grabbing their pencil cases and transporting themselves to the Hay-on-Wye festival over the ten days to host a series of talks by illustrators and cartoonists.

From Bloghorn’s cartoon perspective, notable talks include Audrey Niffenegger (“Her Fearful Symmetry”) on Monday 31 May and PCOer Martin Rowson (“The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy”) on Thursday 3 June, both talking about their illustrated books. In addition, Quentin Blake will be speaking at the event on Saturday 29 June at 11.30am – tickets cost £5.

Make Your Mark on the Future: Big Draw 2010

May 26, 2010 in Events, General, News


Sue Grayson Ford
Director of the Campaign for Drawing launched Big Draw 2010 on Monday. This year – Make Your Mark on the Future – will feature events and activities around the country throughout October.

The event also saw the official launch of the website drawandfoldover.com (as mentioned previously) with a special drawing by Posy Simmonds, Steven Appleby, storyboard artist Nesta Morgan and Bloghorn’s own, Matt Buck. The results were projected on a giant screen in the auditorium as they drew.

Winners of the Drawing Inspiration Awards received a certificate drawn by Quentin Blake and a cheque. These were presented to a variety of organisations and institutions for their work in promoting drawing and it’s use in education and for the public benefit. Winners included the Prema Arts Centre in Gloucestershire, Stockport College and Worcester Porcelain Museum. The Arts Award Prize was presented to 15 year old Phoebe Hill for her Giant’s Garden project at Lyme Regis ArtsFest. The Awards this year also featured the first overseas winners, with the Playeum Play Centre in Singapore being co-winner of the Barbara Whatmore Charitable Trust Awards and the Kecskemét Cultural and Conference Centre in Hungary being a runner-up.

Bloghorn should add that the adaptation of Posy’s drawn book Tamara Drewe premiered in Cannes at the film festival and will be out later in the year.

Drawing expresses ideas well

May 25, 2010 in Comment

Bloghorn liked this video from The Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. Thanks to member Jonathan Cusick for the tip-off.

Drawandfoldover No1.

May 25, 2010 in General, News

Bloghorn enjoyed this Drawandfoldover from contributors to the service made by our friends at the Campaign for Drawing. We were at the 2010 Big Draw national launch event yesterday and will have a report about it soon.

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by Royston

A serious discussion of humour

May 24, 2010 in Comment, General, News


Quentin Blake mural, King’s College, Cambridge (Pic: King’s College)

Cartoonist Andy Davey writes:

To the glorious surroundings of Pembroke College, Cambridge, for a learned and earnest discussion of humour in art.

The conference featured two keynote addresses: one by Robin Simon, editor of the British Art Journal and author of Hogarth, France and British Art, and a second by Quentin Blake on his approach to humour and how it informs his work, especially his recent 70ft mural for Addenbrooke’s Hospital depicting Cambridge University’s
800-year history.

Unfortunately, due to deadlines of the crust-earning variety, your correspondent missed both talks, but there was plenty else to tickle the synapses. It was an interesting departure for a humble practitioner to go back and be enveloped by the warm, crusty embrace of academe; a delightful chance to enjoy in-depth reflection on our art-form. It was a true cartoon nerd’s paradise (in the nicest possible way).

Topics ranged from Shanghai art-deco cartoons to a study of the African woman as muse for Georgian cartoonists like Gillray and Newton. An unexpected bonus was a short talk by the remarkable polymath Loyd Grossman (yes, that one) on Babar the Elephant, the much-loved French cartoon strip, delivered with a liberal sprinkling of wit – a dangerous weapon to use in the groves of academe.

I was keen to explore the reasons for the apparent distaste for the British to embrace the study or appreciation of cartoons as an art-form, wondering whether it was connected to a wider disdain for the art-form here by serious art mavens, while continental Europe holds it high.

Over coffee, I unfairly ear-holed poor Professor Jean Michel Massing of the History of Art deparment to find out. His off-the-cuff explanation was that there was no inherent disdain, it was simply down to lack of money to initiate research projects.

Your correspondent respects the learned professor’s pitch for funding, but reserves judgment, while retiring to scratch his beard and think.

New drawing website folds

May 20, 2010 in General, News

The Campaign for Drawing – the group behind such events as the Big Draw and the Battle of the Cartoonists – have launched a website to encourage the general public to get their pencils out called Draw and Fold Over. The site is an update of the Exquisite Corpse parlour game, where the player first draws a head, then folds the piece of paper over and passes it on to a friend to draw the torso and so forth until the finished picture is revealed. In keeping with the games humble origins, you can pick to draw with a variety of implements including ballpoint pen, marker or pencil, but for the internet generation you can also share your contributions with your friends by email, Twitter, Facebook and Myspace, and watch the image be redrawn in front of your eyes.

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by Royston

Cartoons are big fun in Elephant Parade

May 17, 2010 in General

If you have visited London at all over the past few weeks, you can’t fail to have noticed all the painted elephants dotted around the city.

They are there thanks to Elephant Parade, a conservation campaign highlighting the plight of the endangered Asian elephant. More than 250 of the life-size models have been decorated by artists of all disciplines, one of them, above, by cartoonist Rosie Brooks.

Rosie, a member of the Professional Cartoonists Organisation which runs the Bloghorn, told us: “I really enjoyed this project as I was working in a studio with five other artists. It was the two weeks leading up to Christmas last year and we had our own stereo to block out the shopping centre’s jingly christmas music.”

Elefun, Rosie’s elephant, is just inside Green Park, between Green Park Tube and Hyde Park Corner Tube, roughly opposite the Atheneum Hotel. This Saturday (May 22) is Meet the Artists day. Rosie will be next to her elephant from around 10am – 2pm.

Running from May to July 2010, the parade, which is run by the charity Elephant Family, is London’s biggest outdoor art event on record. With an estimated audience of 25 million, they aim to raise £2 million for the Asian elephant and benefit 20 UK conservation charities.

All of the elephants will be sold at auction. You can bid for them online. Rosie’s is on this page: No. 213: Elefun. Mini elephants are available at branches of Selfridges or at the Elephant Parade online shop.

Rosie is no stranger to large-scale charity art projects. She worked on a similar project called Cow Parade, and she painted a model guitar for London Guitar Town. Her design was picked by Sir Paul McCartney. He liked it so much he asked her to paint a real one, which has since made an appearance in his live act.


Rosie Brooks and Sir Paul McCartney at London Guitar Town

Pens and swords

May 15, 2010 in Comment

Andy Davey writes:
Satirical cartoons are loved and hated, usually by different groups of people. Loved by the powerless, hated by the powerful … and a good rule of thumb is “the more tightly held the power, the more hated the cartoonists”.

The Cartoon Rights Network collects tales of poor treatment, intimidation, torture and imprisonment of cartoonists from across the world. Presently high on this unhappy list is Sri Lanka, where anti-government journalist and political cartoonist Prageeth Ekneligoda disappeared on January 24 this year. He is still missing. Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka has a report on his story.

We are extremely lucky in the UK to have a healthy love of scurrilous graphical political satire which stretches back more than 200 years and has made the governing classes aware of its persistent powers of mockery and scorn. PCOer Martin Rowson describes the facility to “stick it to power” from a distance as  a sort of voodoo.  Roger Law, creator of Spitting Image has made an extensive tour of British satire during his career and this is reflected in his recent BBC Radio 4 programme called  Satire – The Great British Tradition. This series comes as a happy prelude to a big show planned for Tate Britain later this summer. It is called  Rude Britannia and it is expected to cover much of the same interesting territory.


2010 Election cartoon round-up

May 12, 2010 in General

Keep Calm and Cameron cartoon ©Nathan Ariss Find his portfolio at http://www.procartoonists.org UK Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation

Alex Hughes reports.

You may have not noticed, but there’s been a general election in Britian recently. And a general election means it’s open season for the political cartoonists, so here Bloghorn presents a brief summary of the events of the last month or so in cartoon form, starting at the beginning of the election with Dave Brown of the Independent on the runners and riders and the Guardian‘s Martin Rowson on the approaching media obsession.
During the campaign The Guardian‘s Steve Bell talks about drawing at the manifesto launches, the Sky debate, and drawing Nick Clegg, Peter Mandelson and David Cameron (and the cartoon that came from this).

The TV debates may have changed the direction of the election, but they were seen differently by Tim Sanders in the Independent, Dave Brown, Peter Brookes of the Times, Steve Bell and Paul Thomas of the Daily Expesss,whilst Morten Morland of the Times produced a series of short animated responses to each of the debates (ITV, Sky, BBC).

The debates lead to widespread Cleggmania as seen by Stephen Collins in Prospect, Matt in the Daily Telegraph, Martin Rowson and Paul Thomas, and the inevitable media backlash as satirised by Peter Brookes and Dave Brown.

Gordon Brown made what was probably the biggest political gaffe of the campaign by calling a member of the public a “bigoted woman”; Peter Brookes, and Dave BrownMac of the Daily MailPaul Thomas provided their own takes on Bigotgate.

The election night itself inspired Tim Sanders and Matt, but as we now know it resulted in a hung parliament, as shown variously the Sun‘s Andy DaveyDave Brown, Matt, Peter Brookes, Paul Thomas and Mac (and even a hung parliament themed game), Gordon Brown’s departure as seen by Nick Garland and eventually the Con-Lib coalition Christian AdamsTim SandersMorten Morland and Martin Rowson.

Looking forward to the challenges for the new Government were Harry Venning’s Clare in the Community and Kal in the Economist, and looking back, Bloghorn‘s very own Matt Buck produced a series of  weekly despatches for the Guardian from the 1710 campaign as seen by Tobias Grubbe (2, 3, 4, 5).  The Times produced a 9 page comic summary of the election campaign available for download here (PDF, 7Mb).

(“Keep Calm and Cameron” cartoon by Nathan Ariss).

The Editor adds: We are bound to have missed many other great examples of cartooning so please do feel free to add things you have seen in the comments. Thanks.