You are browsing the archive for University of Kent.

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

Talking truth to power

February 2, 2014 in Events, News

Cartoon © Andy Davey @ Procartoonists.org

Cartoon © Andy Davey @ Procartoonists.org

Andy Davey, PCO member and former editorial cartoonist at The Sun is presenting a talk hosted by the Centre for Journalism at the University of Kent on Wednesday (5 February).

It’s called Truth, Power and … Cartoons: Are political cartoons irrelevant? and is part of a week of presentations on activism, campaigning and politics at the university.

Andy told us: “I’m showing how important, trenchant and powerful cartoons have been in times of yore and comparing with today’s cosy relationship between cartoonists, newspapers and politicians.”

He said the talk will also look at how political cartooning is “a life and death business” in other. less democratic countries.

“I want to make the point that we mainly address the Westminster Village soap opera, regardless of the fact that it has less and less power. Why do the real power brokers – global institutions, banks, funds, world trade organisations etc – escape criticism while we shout at the Westminster puppets on stage?”

He will also look at the changes cartoonists face in the digital age and what their future might be. Andy said he will be “making a plea that cartoons can still be powerful – perhaps when released from editors’ whims”.

The talk, which will be followed by a question and answer session, is at 1pm in room PK008 of the Pilkington Building, in the university’s Medway Campus in Chatham.

Tales from Herne Bay

August 9, 2013 in Events, General, News

Cartoonist_Ralph_Steadman_and_Karol_Steele_meet_Duchamp_in_Herne_Bay@_procartoonists.org

Ralph Steadman and Karol Steele finally meet at Duchamp in Herne Bay Photograph: © Andy Steele @ Procartoonists.org

Photographer Kasia Kowalska writes:

It was 30 years ago that Ralph Steadmancame to give a talk on cartoon drawing and political satire at The University of Kent.

At that time the British Cartoon Archive was still a fledgling. After the talk, Ralph gave a practical presentation on political caricatures by drawing members of the audience.

A young student Karol Steele was in the audience that day. She dearly wished to speak to Steadman but in spite of her friends’ encouragement, she hid in the back paralysed by most crippling shyness. She always regretted it bitterly.

And so passed 30 years and the much admired artist was due to pay a visit to Herne Bay during the Duchamp Festival. Karol was determined not to let the opportunity pass her for the second time!

Full of hope and anticipation she came to the Bandstand on 3rd August in search of her hero.

When we spoke she reflected that “most of the truly embarrassing things that can happen to a person already have happened” to her so there was nothing left but to pluck up the courage and make amends for her shyness of her student days.

Having heard this story early in the day and realising we were both alumni of the same university, I was keen to help her and promised to look out for her and let her know when Ralph Steadman would arrive at the Bandstand. And so it came to pass that I was lucky enough to find her in the buzzing crowd and point her in the direction of the artist.

She found him a most generous and obliging man who listened to her story with avid interest and who, without hesitation, agreed to draw a picture for her.

“30 years of regret wiped out in 10 minutes!” said Karol clutching a splendid drawing of herself and her husband. Even the family dog was immortalised and included in the artwork.

Ralph_Steadman_for_Karol_Steele_@_procartoonists_org

Extracted from a drawing by Ralph Steadman for Karol Steele @ Procartoonists.org

I believe Karol got over her shyness. She will be starring in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest at The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury in September.

Ed adds: Thanks to Kasia for the news, the photograph and for a heart-warming story to end the week. Good luck to Karol for her upcoming show.

Making the Giles cartoon exhibition

November 6, 2008 in General


This cartoon courtesy of the Cartoon Museum, the University of Kent and the trustees of the Giles collection.

Bloghorn interviews Nick Hiley, curator of the exhibition Giles: One of the Family which is now on at the Cartoon Museum in central London.

Who had the original idea for a Giles retrospective?

As soon as the Giles collection arrived at the British Cartoon Archive in 2005 it was clear that we needed to celebrate with a London exhibition, and the Cartoon Museum was the most appropriate place to hold it. We have spent the last eighteen months cataloguing and digitising Giles’ enormous collection of artwork, correspondence, and ephemera. This exhibition puts on display some of the things we have found.

How long has it taken to put the Giles exhibition together?

In a sense it has taken five years, as it was in 2003 that we began looking at the possibility of giving the Giles collection a permanent home in Canterbury, and making it accessible to the public and to researchers. The collection was in storage for ten years after Giles’ death in 1995, and it was always our aim to make the artwork available for exhibition and display once it reached the British Cartoon Archive. The actual exhibition planning and selection, and the writing of the catalogue, took about six months.

How did the University of Kent get involved?

We’ve been interested in the Giles collection for a long time. The University’s cartoon archive was set up in 1973, and after Giles’ death in 1995 the archivist approached the Cartoon Trustees, to whom Giles left his collection, with the suggestion that his artwork should come to Kent. At the time they had hopes that the collection might remain in East Anglia, where Giles lived and worked, but when we approached them again they were happy to donate the collection to us. A second exhibition – “Giles: Drawn to Suffolk” – is opening in Ipswich on November 8, and we do hope that a permanent display of Giles material may one day be established in Ipswich, where he had a studio for many years.

What does promoting the work of a cartoonist who has died achieve?

I hope that it brings the enjoyment of his work to new audiences, and gives existing fans a new insight into how he worked, by displaying his original artwork. Giles’ correspondence does include letters from other cartoonists and illustrators, expressing admiration for the way that he could arrange complex scenes in a simple visual way, so I hope that present-day cartoonists can learn something from seeing his work. He could draw cartoons of the Family where there is action across the whole frame, or on different floors of the house, but the focus is never lost.

What would Giles have seen if he was watching the last-minute preparations for the show?

He would probably have laughed a lot, and grumbled a lot as well. He would laugh because we reconstructed his studio, using all the easels, paints, pencils, etc. which came with the collection, even down to his glasses and his cardigan on the back of his chair. I’m sure he would tell us we had got it all in the wrong place! He would undoubtedly grumble, because he never liked his original artwork, partly because he was a perfectionist and partly because he regarded the printed cartoon as the finished work. His originals were drawn for reduction, and he thought that by comparison with the printed version they looked as if they had been “drawn with an umbrella”! They don’t seem like that to me, but to show that they are part of a reproductive process we have used specially made frames that show the whole artwork, including Giles’ notes and the blockmaker’s scribbles in the margins.

Visit the Cartoon Museum

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent

PCO Procartoonists – What we do

November 12, 2007 in General


The profession and craft of cartooning (from gag drawings and pocket-sized newspaper jokes to comics strips and magazines, from editorial drawings and commercial advertising to digital monitors and billboards) has suffered some economic blows over the past decade. These have often been connected to the decline in the fortunes of the print industry.
But, despite this, the PCO is sure that – though undervalued by some in the UK – intelligent drawing remains an art-form which people continue to love to see and read. The map below, bears this knowledge out, as it shows you the locations of some of our many digital visitors this week.

We want to put our art in front of those people in a more direct way than we have previously done and we are, as an organisation, set up to promote and advertise the best of the active UK cartoon art world.
We seek to reach the three major constituencies which support our art form – editors of media outlets, both traditional and digital, art buyers in commercial companies and the reading public. We are doing this through three channels – the internet, our own printed magazine, The Foghorn, and at large public events like the Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival and The Big Draw. We also help to make and run bespoke, or single-issue, cartoon exhibitions like this one, which are often on tour and shown in major cities in the UK and Europe.
As you’d expect, we have excellent connections in the world of art and business and work closely with the national Cartoon Museum, the Cartoon Hub at the University of Kent, the Political Cartoon Gallery and other interested galleries and arts bodies, including the cartoonists’ social clubs, the British Cartoonists’ Association and the Cartoonists’ Club of Great Britain. We,in our own way, cover the UK. We also have excellent links abroad through our collaboration with European cartooning organisations inside Feco. If you are curious about our work and what it can do for you, you can contact us from our main portfolio site which lives here.

Andy Davey – Chairman of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation

British cartoon talent