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Chloé Regan
"The Set"

Chloe 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 spaces.'

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.

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As an illustrator I reflect on human behaviour and the psychological effects of space through drawing. I illustrate people I have met and whose lives intrigue me. Taking a woman I know, I observe and draw.

She has lived in the same flat for 40 years. She demonstrates a repetitive nature of rituals informed by the flat and the city. I have never been to the flat but have heard much about it. It is sparse. Her persona in the city is a contrast. She is glamorous, citing film as an inspiration for a way of dressing and urban existence.

My speculation about a person and a sense of space can be ruminated on the page and it is the note like and loose marks that I make in response to my observations and thoughts that are more reflective of a human existence, in flux and unstructured.

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I look to Walter Benjamin’s ‘Arcades Project’ for inspiration.

Space continues to be explored through my process of drawing. The use of space on the drawing page and manipulation of composition are significant. ‘The Set’ explores the concept of psychogeography, both through drawing on location and my character’s response to spaces.

The city acts as a film set on which she projects a character and way of life. She demonstrates a repetitive nature of rituals informed by the city, similarly as she does in her flat. The films my protagonist watches are set in the city, a public space where she appears aware of people observing her. Charles Baudelaire's flâneur proves a relevant context for my illustrations.

'The disparate drawings I made are evocative of my sense of questioning. I took inspiration from John O’Reilly’s ‘Phenomenology of the Sketch’:
    'The sketch of two doorways, side-by-side, indistinct figures inside the door frames, onlookers parked on the opposite page of the sketchbook
    looking in, participating in the sketch for us, noting, looking.'

    (O’Reilly, 2011)
In my book the character initially appeared to behave differently in 3 distinct spaces: her flat, the stairway leading to her flat and the city. As I began to make sense of how the woman perceived space I realised how the individual’s perception of space is highly unique and is created in the mind, formed by associations, memories and imagination.

This quote from Walter Benjamin is particularly significant to me and to this project.

’The crowd is the veil through which the familiar city beckons to the flâneur as phantasmagoria-

now a landscape,

now a room.’

(Benjamin, 2002)

Chloé Regan's drawing takes the form of reportage by documenting in and around a subject. She sketches continuously from life and her prolific sketchbooks capture reflections, verve and experience. Chloé's sketches are autonomous, however these drawings often inspire narratives which too interrogate life. Reportage illustration is a significant inspiration and forms a relevant context for Chloé's interest in observing and reflecting on the world around her.

Chloé Regan works both individually and on collaborative commissions with Ink, an illustration collective formed with two other RCA graduates. She has recently exhibited at Tenderpixel Gallery, London, produced a commission for 'Critical Dictionary's Exhibition' at Black Dog Publishing, London and taught drawing at Central Saint Martin's Summer School as well as working as a visiting lecturer.