Artists for Democracy
Drawings and Projects. 3 March - 30 April 2017 at House of Illustration's Quentin Blake Gallery.
UBUD: A Visual Essay from the cultural and artistic heart of Bali Island
Junior Doctors Strike 2016 and Don't Bomb Syria 2015
A cross - Media storytelling project, focusing on Nepal in the year since the April 2015 earthquake.
The Jungle Refugee Camp
"Since volunteering at the refugee council in 2009 I have in one way or another been involved in refugee issues. As part of my work there we visited Calais where there were a number of refugees living in various squats and abandoned factory buildings in the town."
The Times Olympic Project
Tim Vyner is a reportage illustrator who uses sporting events to capture a social record of a time and place. In 2012 he was appointed The Times Newspaper’s artist covering the Olympics in London.
Mount Athos Project
Tim Vyner's first visit to Mount Athos as the beneficiary of the Doug Patterson/RCA bursary was in the spring of 2013. By the time the seasons had completed a full cycle he would have visited all 20 Monasteries on in three separate trips.
'Drawing on Topolski' and the Chronicle Residency programme 2
Topolski Studio and Reportager, University of the West of England, present the work of the 2nd Chronicle Residency Programme, including the film, 'Drawing on Topolski' by filmmaker Alistair Oldham, documenting the first Residency Programme.
Charlotte Peys: Zondereigen
"In 2013 I often stayed a week in the village. I made long walks, took more then 4000 pictures, recorded audio fragments, read documents in the archive of the centre for local ethnography, participated in typical activities such as the village fair and interviewed a lot of the inhabitants. All this information was then used to make drawings and write texts about Zondereigen. Together with the reflections I wrote, the drawings are collected in a hard cover book consisting of 192 pages. My own words are varied with quotes from the interviews.
"The end result is not an historical overview of the village, but a visual journey of my subjective experiences. Since I managed to get financial subsidies from three different parties, I was able to print the book at a professional printing office in an edition that is just big enough to give every household of Zondereigen a copy of the book."
Olivier Kugler: The Plight of Syrian Refugees
Médecins sans Frontières recently invited the renowned reportage artist Olivier Kugler to spend two weeks in Domiz refugee camp in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Olivier was asked to produce a series of drawings documenting the circumstances of the Syrian refugees.
With the help of a translator Olivier spent two weeks with the refugees who told him their stories about time spent in war torn Syria and their experiences in the refugee camp. During his time there he took countless photos that are used as reference in order to work on the completed drawings.
Anna Cattermole: From The Loft Floor
From The Loft Floor is a series of reportage drawings that I made at a boatyard in Cornwall during 2010 to 2012. They record the building of a traditional wooden sailing boat, the 42 foot long pilot cutter 'Freja', by Luke Powell of 'Working Sail'.
The aim was to capture the different stages of the build as it progressed. I wanted to show how a wooden boat is constructed, highlighting the skills and knowledge necessary, and to capture the atmosphere of a working boatyard and bring some clarity to what is a complex scene.
Stephen Smith: Lisbon Drawings 2013
In December 2013 Steve took a trip to the city of Porto in Portugal. The architecture of the city falls down the hill of the old town towards the River Douro Estuary. As the low winter sun cast shadows across rooftops, chimney stacks and ceramic tiles, what started out as interior and exterior studies and drawings in graphite, chinagraph and pencil became a study into capturing the abstract nature of the buildings. The line in this instance became a tool to define the edge of where one shape leads to another and began to define the space between both.
As the pages turned in the sketchbook the lines became starker and more graphic leading to the overlapping and layering of scenes in a sequential manner.
There is a long, respectable tradition of official war art where artists are commissioned to draw in warzones. War Mart reverses this tradition. Instead of drawing in war zones, Jill
draws undercover in arms fairs, and trade shows for military equipment. Here, weapons are promoted to almost anyone who wants to buy - dictators, repressive regimes and both sides of disputes. The products range from missiles for the war on terror, to tear-gas for the ArabSpring, all offered with wine, champagne, and pretzels. Jill draws illicitly, so the cover is asmuch a part of the project as the drawings.
Between the years of 1953 and 1982, world-renowned artist Feliks Topolski published his Chronicles of the century. No.1 Vol.XV11 2013 is the first Chronicle to be published by the residents of the Topolski Studio and is the culmination of three months reportage drawing in and around London. An exhibition and auction was held at the Vibe gallery on 12th December. The residents are, Matt Booker, Laura Fitton, josh Morris, Alex Nicholson, Chloe Parke and Louis Vinet.
Brut Kok : Distorted
Landscapes, Future Ruins & Spirit Houses
Artist residency at Chulalongkorn University 2013
Exhibition 24-29 September 2013
Following a four-month residency at Chulalongkorn
University, London based artist Gareth Proskourine-Barnett exhibited
a body of new work that explores the urban landscape of Bangkok.
Brut Kok projects an alternative future for Bangkok where the city
is abandoned; tourists visit to wonder at a strange civilization.
Subverting the romanticism for ruins by examining recent examples
of architectural ruin instead of the palaces, temples and ancient
ruins that have been preserved for tourist or nationalistic purposes.
Gareth has produced a series of Saan Phra Phum (spirit houses) that
reference construction sites and the transferable nature of everyday
street materials, they are monuments to the un-built voids that occupy
the landscape. Referencing minimalist form they playfully imagine
an evolution of spirit house design. The sculptures feature bricks
and stones found in the street, either cast in resin or covered in
gold leaf, ceramic structures that appear on the verge of collapse
and scaffolding systems that have no clear function.
Gareth’s artist practice explores a sense of place through our
relationship with architecture. He is fascinated with the concept
of Utopia especially now that the very act of dreaming, or considering
a brighter future has become, in itself, an act of nostalgia. His
work begins by walking to specific sites and collecting rubbings,
the aim is to re-examine modernism and to consider the utopian ideology
imbued in the fabric of these buildings.
Gareth also gave an interview to the Bangkok post:
|The reportager newspaper is now
The reportager newspaper
has been published. Some five hundred are already scheduled to be
The work contained within this print version of reportager represents
the sketchbook pages of 20 artists who are either members of reportager
or who have been associated in some way with the online journal. The
work ranges across such diverse subject areas as Feliks
Topolski's war time blitz sketches and Sue
The brief for this publication was for artists to submit work, which
as far as possible, was created on the spot, without correction, mediation
or beautification. Many of the artists make work either for self-initiated
projects or for commissioned work. All have one thing in common in
that they all use the sketch as the basis for reference, investigation,
interrogation and research.
The work contained in this print version of reportager represents
a selection of sketchbook pages from some 20 artists, who are either
members of reportager or who have been associated in some way with
the online journal. Reportager.org exists in order to support, initiate,
and showcase projects involving drawing as reportage, visual journalism,
documentary drawing and illustration as visual essay.
Reportager.org has been up and running for over a year. There is a
drawing zeitgeist taking place and evidence of real interest in documentary
drawing and reportage. As the editor I have been both pleased and
surprised by the huge amount of interest in the area of visual journalism
and reportorial drawing.
The reportager newspaper is also available in a digital format:
the PDF version
The reportager paper may also be viewed on the Newspaper club website:
|Topolski Studio in partnership with
Reportager, launch the Chronicle
Feliks Topolski hand-printed over 2,300 of his on the spot drawings
in his broadsheet Chronicles, covering events from the Queen’s
Coronation and the Lambeth Conference of the Anglican Churches to
war refugees and London street scenes.
The Chronicles bristle with comment and observation about the people,
politics and events of the time. It was distributed to over 2,000
subscribers around the world including museums, universities, libraries
and private collections.
The Chronicle Residency programme in partnership with Reportager,
University of the West of England will offer 6 young people the opportunity
to train and work together to produce, hand-print and distribute a
Chronicle for the
twenty-first century, a broadsheet of reportage drawing chronicling
contemporary issues, just as artist Feliks Topolski did of the twentieth.
Topolski Studio’s Chronicle for the twenty-first
century will report local issues and events through drawing.
The Residents will be supported to draw on location to record what
matters to local people and raise the profile of issues and experiences
close to the community that are not always treated as relevant by
other forms of media. The Residents will gain a three-month apprenticeship
at Topolski studio with regular master classes from internationally
acclaimed artists and print professionals.
|Yann Le Bechec
with Erik Bataille :
in a century of history /Sri Lanka Project
Visual Essay forming part of a project produced by Yann Le Bechec
and Journalist Erik Bataille, a French journalist with a particular
interest in Mongolia. This true story features Sugarmaa, a middle-aged
woman who lives in the region.
Sugarmaa lives in Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia, she is only 50 but has
been exploring the Gobi desert for many years…since operating
adventure tours for tourism, and catering for all kinds of companies:
mining, drilling, goat breeders, and scientific teams looking for
She is trekking around the toughest desert in the world but looks
like she is enjoying an afternoon shopping trip on the Champs Elysées.
She wears long silk gloves up to her shoulders, and a scarf made of
cashmere hides her dark hair.
Sri Lanka project
Yann Le Bechec and Journalist Erik Bataille are also involved in developing
a visual essay about Sri Lanka and how the lack of investment in Sandalwood
has effected the economy.
Regan : The
Chloé Regan has created an illustrated
book ‘The Set’.
It is a book within books. It is a book that has come from drawing
in many books. ‘The Set’
explores a woman and the spaces she inhabits.
'I chose a specific friend because she spends
most of her time between two spaces, the city and her flat. These
spaces are both reflective and evocative of her psychological state
and inform her patterns of existence. My protagonist responds differently
to her flat- the private domestic space and the city - the public
urban space. The staircase from her flat to the city bridges the two
The book is entitled ‘The Set’
because the woman appeared to use the city and her flat as two different
film sets and she behaves differently in each. The title ‘The
Set’ was also decided on because my
protagonist is passionate about Italian film.
|Julia Midgley :
War Art &
'War, Art and Surgery' is a reportage drawing project portraying the
contribution of surgery to the lives of service personnel, and, documenting
the patients’ experience of the rehabilitation process.
Additionally it juxtaposes Julia’s own contemporary reportage
artwork representing recovering military personnel today, with surgeon-artist
Henry Tonks' stunning pastels of wounded
The project will culminate in a 2014 exhibition at The Royal College
of Surgeons of England, London, and Durham, at The Light Infantry
Museum, Northern England. It will commemorate the centenary of the
outbreak of World War 1 and the part played by military surgery then
Julia has practised as a reportage and documentary artist with a focus
on war artists and surgery for several decades. Following a 1999 Artist’s
Residency at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital Trust her drawings
of 20th Century medicine were exhibited at The Royal College of Surgeons.
It was there that she first encountered Henry Tonks’ World War
1 drawn archive of surgeon Harold Gillies’
reconstructive surgery on injured soldiers.
|Olivier Kugler: Burkina
Faso visual report
in The Guardian 05-12-2012
Ian Bray, Oxfam's senior press officer contacted
Olivier Kugler in May this year to ask if he would be interested in
doing a series of drawings highlighting the food crisis in the Sahel
On his invitation he spent a week in Burkina Faso traveling through
the north of the country to collect reference material such as photos,
sketches and interviews, for a five page series of drawings to be
published in The Guardian's G2 supplement.
The drawings portray the people he met on this journey.
Olivier produced this visual report following his recent visit to
Burkina Faso, where two million people are at risk from hunger. Oxfam
is aiming to stop the crisis becoming a famine by raising $66m for
food, clean water and assistance through their Food
Crisis in Sahel appeal. Kugler visited the village of Tafgo
to inspect a seed distribution programme. He also travelled to Sirgum
gold mine near Kaya and towards the border with Mali to the Mentao
|Richard Johnson :
Richard's first piece of field reportage was with the Detroit Free
Press in 2003 when he accompanied a USMC regiment during the invasion
of Iraq. Since then he has used the same sketch and written format
in D.R.C., Zimbabwe, Kenya, C.A.R. and Afghanistan. He is always on
the lookout for opportunities to use the medium to draw peoples attention
to subjects they would otherwise ignore.
Richard is nearing the end of his current trip to Afghanistan.
He is stationed at Camp Morehead somewhere south of Kabul from where
he sent this report.
I try to approach each assignment as a blank slate. I think I have
both average intellect and average politics - I believe I am Mr. Average.
This works to my advantage, allowing me to be skeptical of everything
equally. I work directly for the National Post in Canada (but my work
is also syndicated to The Detroit Free Press,
The Dallas Morning News and the Chicago
This is my third trip as an artist to Afghanistan. My fourth, as an
artist in a war zone. I first cut my teeth as a media embedded artist
in 2003 with the U.S. Marine Corps during the invasion of Iraq - due
mainly to having had a bad idea at the wrong time in the wrong place,
and having had someone overhear it.
Post Kandahar Journal
illustrated guide to a war journalists kit
|Paul Davis :
a Beautiful World’
Paul Davis’s recent drawings are a visual essay conjured up
from a journey in his head. Inspired by the environment he observes
and experiences, on the bus, in the street, overheard conversations.
They attempt to explore and record the world we all inhabit, either
in reality, mediated or virtually.
Davis works in a notebook, like a journalist, recording his psychogeographic
ambulations through the city of his imagination. His view of the world
is one we recognize, but sometimes struggle to understand. His trademark
scribbles, blobs, diagrammatic doodles and uncompromising caustic
black humour is still evident.
This new work is more personal, and ambiguous, but still manages to
convey a surreal unconventional beauty.
Paul Davis is an artist and illustrator whose widely acclaimed work
has taken him all over the world for the past years with exhibitions
in Paris, New York, Osaka, Tokyo, Sydney, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Porto,
Stockholm and of course London. He is the author of three books to
date. Paul is also Drawings Editor of the independent quarterly arts
and literature newspaper/magazine, The
Paul is currently editing a book of photographs and working on a new
book about London life with Jocelyn Bain Hogg titled 'Tired
of London, Tired of Life' (after a famous Dr Samuel Johnson
quote in a conversation of 1777, as recalled by his friend, diarist
and biographer, James Boswell).
The book has been funded by the principal of 'crowd-funding' (see
|Veronica Lawlor : The
Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans
In February of 2011 I ventured out into New Orleans, the city I had
drawn in the spring of 2005, to do some reportage post-Hurricane Katrina.
I decided to ride over to the ninth ward, that was flooded so terribly
during the hurricane, and see what was going on six years later. The
lower ninth ward, on the east side of the Clairborne Street bridge,
was really hit hard. Floodwaters came in over the broken down levee
and rose to the rooftops of the small houses that packed the neighborhood.
Today, the neighborhood is still in a shambles. There are many, many
empty lots where houses used to be, especially in the area close the
levee, which is now a huge abandoned field. You can see the cement
foundations of some of the former houses. The waters of the storm
picked many of these houses up and carried them away. The thought
of someone’s home being literally swept away is so sad, and
the fact of the matter is that so many of these homes have not been
re-built, years later. There are pieces of chain link fence standing
everywhere, fencing in nothing.
The empty houses that are still standing seem to be alive, and I felt
compelled to draw them. As I drew, the sound of the birds was overwhelming.
It seems like nature is reclaiming this part of the city.
|Sue Coe : 'Topsy'
Sue Coe was born in Liverpool and grew up next to a slaughterhouse.
She studied at the royal College of Art and moved to New York in 1972.
She has been featured regularly in the ground breaking magazine Raw,
and has contributed illustrations to the New York
Times, The New Yorker, Newsweek,
and Rolling Stone amongst many other publications.
Her paintings have been exhibited around the world including The Museum
of Modern Art in New York.
This project is about the circus elephant through history, to the
present. Some of the paintings are reconstructions based on the historical
record, or by me speaking with relatives of witnesses, as with Hanging
of Mary who died in 1916. Iconic elephants like Jumbo are well recorded,
but not necessarily accurately, as he was being marketed long after
he died, being worth more, stuffed and displayed, than ever he was
This is a series of about a hundred drawings and paintings, focusing
on an elephant called Topsy, who was executed
by electrocution in Luna Park, now Coney Island, so Thomas Edison
could promote his patent on DC power. 2000 people paid a few cents
in the ‘off season’ to watch her die. Elephants are still
being exploited in circuses and zoos, prodded with bull hooks, crippled
with arthritis for standing so long on concrete, they have short lives,
many suffer from tuberculosis.
I have many sketchbooks of drawings of elephants who are 'hot wired'
backstage at the circus, waiting for the only 30 minutes a day, where
they are free of restraint, they run in circles for our entertainment.
|Bo Soremsky : "Passengers"
Berlin based illustrator Bo Soremsky created an interactive court
report on the legal proceedings against the popular weathercaster
Jörg Kachelmann. The project included interactivity and non-linear
modes of presentation.
The project shows the courtroom - including the participants of the
trial. The reader can select the most important participants to gain
access to their testimonies. If a particular figure is clicked, new
drawings show up to illustrate the statements and arguments of that
person. These testimonies are presented in a very subjective way and
strongly contradict each other. The reportage doesn't try to tell
a genuine truth, it rather gives an overview of the opposing statements.
At the end the reader must decide for himself, which testimony he
wants to believe in. In this way the reportage gets a highly authentic
and credible appearance which demands the reader’s engagement
Though this experiment only touches on the possibilities of the virtual
space, it shows the great potentials of digital narratives. More complex
ways of interactive, non-linear storytelling and other techniques
like incorporating multimedia content might provide completely new
forms of illustrated reportages in the future.
|Mitch Miller : Dialectograms
Dialectograms are documentary/psychogeographic drawings of places
in Glasgow that are marginal, under threat or disappeared. They borrow
from ethnography and graphic art to depict collective histories and
understandings of space. Mitch is currently undertaking a practice-led
PhD at Glasgow School of Art to explore the idea further.
I coined the term dialectogram to describe large documentary drawings
of places in the city, made from the perspective of those who inhabit
them. They use vernacular visual language that subverts the authoritative
styles of traditional architectural floor-plans, maps and information
design- they are to diagrams what demotic speech is to Received Pronunciation,
hence the term ‘dialect-ogram’.
I am primarily interested in documenting hidden, marginal and threatened
parts of Glasgow, places that often run counter to the official image
of itself the city fathers like to present. Dialectograms try to give
a fair hearing to travellers’ sites, doomed tower blocks, flea
markets, intimidating pubs, sites of protest, areas that have become
surplus to requirements.