For the past 50 years Cuba’s future has been embedded in global systems that have the ability to connect and disconnect them in surprising and complicated ways, which has effected the day to day lives of those inhabited there. My main intention during this project was to document and bear witness to particularly interesting aspects of Cuban lifestyle, industry and culture through a series of reportage driven, visual essays. My journey began in the bustling capital of Havana. From here I trickled my way down the south coast of the island towards Baracoa. Cuba still exists in a time-warped state as a result of its restricted trade laws since the Cold War. Despite the Embargo between the United States and Cuba not being lifted, it has been relaxed to allow import, export, and certain commerce between the two countries. I have uncovered my stories from local cubans and communities about how this has affected their lifestyle and shaped the landscape around them. In such a landscape of interwoven narratives, I was challenged with documenting this network of hidden stories and re-imagine the complex and contradictory realities of the present. Creating these drawings as a historical record and platform I hope to suggest the extraordinary future of this complex, unique country.
From farm to fork, this project recognises the importance of challenging our conceptions and knowledge of existing systems of food production, distribution and waste. The catalyst for this work stems from the recent substantial rise in both food waste and hunger within the UK. By recognising this subject matter also as a global issue, will reinforce the importance of documenting the innovative steps projects are making locally within Bristol. The work presented uses primary, visual journalistic principles of illustration; documenting, interviewing and investigating different projects that are all combating food waste at different stages of the food cycle. This project extensively highlights the ramifications of the way in which we, as a nation, are dealing with food waste. However, through making these works has created a platform of drawings that collectively show resilience, protest and solutions to this issue. The projects often involve volunteering programmes that tackle social isolation and ideologies that push for positive social change within communities. By collating these projects into visceral and engaging forms of visual data: the correlation of beliefs towards change can be realised as a platform, to challenge and interrogate stubborn attitudes of social responsibility.
A collection of drawings done in situ amongst the hectic atmosphere created by a kitchen in full service. The drawings were recorded at different food waste charities. All of the locations drawn re-use food that would otherwise have seen the bin. The result is hot meals for people and families unable to feed themselves.
Amongst the severe floods last winter in the UK, Somerset was one of the most severely hit areas. I volunteered for several weeks building flood defences in locations based around Bridgewater and have reflected upon my experience in these works. The instantaneous nature of mono-printing allowed me to work loosely and echo my experience through the fast paced nature of the water and its muddy aesthetic. Using visual journalism and reportage drawing I was able to capture the frantic efforts of the environmental agency and volunteers battling the increasing water levels. By interacting first hand with my subject matter, I feel I was able to give a more honest depiction of the scenes I witnessed. I initially wanted to capture the severity of the disaster. However, through this process I came to realise the positives of a particular strong community in Burrow Bridge that collectively helped each other rebuild their lives and homes. This became the area that I chose to hone the focus of the artwork.
These drawings look to capture a guilty pleasure of British culture. The late night pilgrimage for a dirty kebab is a post-pub British tradition; that fatty melange of meat and its throat constricting pong of the garlic sauce is unparalleled elsewhere. While others chowed down on their lamb doners, I observed with my pens: capturing interesting points of focus and pockets of conversations during the early hours of the morning.
Still I Rise
These drawings are the result of tracing where my local fishmonger in Bristol gets his produce from. This involved making drawings 6 miles out from the coast of Weymouth with a group of flat-fish fishermen. The drawings reflect the movement of the boat and the frantic nature when somebody gets a bite. (IM INI!)
Beginners luck I managed to catch a 20 pound Turbot whilst trying to recover from the seasickness of drawing on a rocking boat. I also learned different tricks such as using WD40 on the bait to increase the scent.