Illustrated Poetry Pamphlet, 2019

Charcoal is for naked bodies...

Charcoal is an illustrated poetry pamphlet created while studying for my MA in Authorial Illustration. The six poems within the collection were written while coming to terms with the end of a romantic relationship and explore personal feelings of loss and disappointment alongside ideas about drawing and the body.  

To me, as a visual artist, poetry feels like an extension of drawing. Both require observations, attention to detail, composition, working and reworking. The images in this book are not intended to illustrate individual poems. They exist in their own right – as central to the work as the writing.

​I don’t like drawing with charcoal. My usual medium of choice is graphite. I like the control it gives me to create fine details. For the drawings in the book, I decided to use charcoal as a constraint; something to fight back against. I used it to sketch out the forms and areas of tone before drawing back into it with graphite pencil to add detail and definition. It was a personal act, and one of defiance and reclamation. I hope that what may come across to the reader of this pamphlet is some of the tactile qualities of the media and the contrast of blurred, smudgy marks with areas of precision and focus. If I could sum up the atmosphere I wanted this collection to create, it would be one of sensual claustrophobia.