Over Christmas I found the project quite challenging and I have to admit I was struggling to find a way to create imagery that told the stories behind the objects in a way that added to what MoDiP already had on offer. However after experimenting with different ideas, making initial sketches of the objects within the collection, and getting feedback from other people on the MA illustration course, I decided to go back to my roots and take a narrative driven approach.
Initial sketches and ideas for illustrations based on the poems
I started writing poetry for each decade from the 1920s to present day inspired by objects from those decades within the museum. I wrote my poetry from the perspectives of the people who may have used the objects, exploring what the objects meant to them and the symbolism the objects had in peoples lives. I’ve been particularly interested in exploring the ideas of collection, kinship and memory, and how the objects we choose to collect and hold on to, may continue to connect us with significant moments in our lives.
The poems I wrote have then inspired images that show the objects within the museum in use, rather than just being static still life studies – something I was previously doing and wanted to move away from.
A work in progress photo of a more developed illustration showing someone using a comb and mirror from the 1920s from the museum collections
I have also drawn on patterns and motifs found on the objects which I have incorporated throughout my images. For example, for one of my illustrations of the poem, I have incorporated the Art Nouveau floral motif found on one of the hand held mirrors, and the Art Deco shape of several of the combs from the museum collections from the 1920s, throughout the image.
Two of the Art Deco combs from the 1920s from the collections at MoDiP that have inspired this piece
Art Nouveau hand held mirror from the 1920s - also an inspiration for this illustration
I’m excited to continue to take this project forward and see how it develops over the next two months!
Judith Allen - MA Illustration