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Fine tuning the ink drawings

After much deliberation and peer review of the last set of drawings I have made some adjustments to my proposed outcome. I received comments on how my colleagues had enjoyed making connections between the drawings but also how some worked better than others. I previously discounted the idea of pairing the drawings together but this now seems a more potent way to present them – but not necessarily as distinct pairs, some could stand alone and others as larger groups. The arrangement of the drawings will be critical but the concept of loose groupings does now seem a more effective way to light a fire for a viewer to create their own narratives.

I was also reminded that my original concept was based on the distortion of memories, so how the past is viewed in the present, but also on how important the specific location of the event was – the freak chance that the bomb fell on that exact spot. Hence it became apparent that including more contemporary references, gleaned from the present Spar shop, would add curiosity, a leap into the present, and potentially more humour – another element I think is slightly lacking. Remember I discussed the importance of humour in how a child deals with traumatic memories!

The quick iPad sketches below revealed a ripe set of material for inclusion. The challenge was finding those that could be drawn in ink with minimal detail but still remain recognisable, but also finding those that had a potential link to the historical drawings.

A new set of ink drawing templates are shown below and I think these are a significant improvement on the previous ones. Note how I’ve separated some drawings, such as the boy and Stuka, into individual drawings. As noted above, why fill in the narrative for the viewer? Let them make the connections – maybe the boy links to other drawings as well so we should not provide the punch line.

My previous plan was to create up to 30 drawings, but we have 18 here. It’s tempting to create more but on consideration I will most likely start to repeat the same narrative with different visuals. I’m a big believer in less having more impact as it shows more confidence delivered in less time. The set below references the important aspects of wartime village life – the threat from the skies, home life and family. We also have to consider the final presentation of the drawings, given the criteria in the current lock down situation. We are to submit three images of our final outcome and a lesser number will more feasible to present with greater detail.

The paired images below (on each row) are initial pairings but not necessarily the only feasible ones – as mentioned above, the layout in the installation will provide opportunities for more. I particularly like the bomb and lottery symbol – the game of chance in 1941 was quite different to pitching your wits in a million to one game of luck.

I’ve tried to include elements of the child disrupting the truth in this set but also references to a modern lifestyle as well as some pure absurdity. The cow looking at the gas mask was just appealing visually and the vicar making tea providing the daily comfort in those days, where as present day comfort is most likely materialistic.

Next steps

Peer review of the above set is important to gauge reaction compared to the previous drawings. We can anticipate that some of the above may not translate well to ink drawings hence we may consider creating more in case we need to substitute.

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