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MarKings – symposium and festival of performance and drawing


Written by
Rachel Jillions
Published date
12 October 2016

Summer 2016 culminated in University of the Arts London’s (UAL), cross College, ambitious Illustration and Performance Festival entitled  Markings.  UAL was delighted to collaborate for the first time with the House of Illustration to launch the Festival which looked at the relationship between illustration and performance over a two day period, 8-9 July. The programme took place at Central Saint Martins’ Lethaby Gallery and the Crossing, Granary Square and at the House of Illustration.

MarKings was initiated by Professor Oriana Baddeley, Professor Frances Corner and Colin McKenzie, Director of the House of Illustration, led by Professor Roger Sabin, Professor Charlotte Hodes and John Miers, with RMA administrative support from Jeremy Barraud, Lynne Finn and Rachel Jillions and curatorial and project management by Megan Donnolley. It featured practice led and scholarly research by UAL and international researchers, together with UAL students and alumni.

The Festival invited illustrators to think beyond the surface to consider how performance can be used to invigorate the form and to capture live experience; it asked performers how illustration might be incorporated into a live time- based process; and for artists, how the process of drawing can be considered performative?

The academic symposium convened by Roger Sabin at House of Illustration, featured artists’ talks and research presentations by leading practitioners and scholars that tested the boundaries of existing definitions of illustration. Themes included the relationship between illustration and rehearsal, illustrated books as mini-theatres, and the cognitive processes involved in recognising pictures when we watch them being produced.

MarKings on Screen curated by Nilgin Yusuf, drew together 22 films which mediated, explored, conceptualized and documented these interrelated, symbiotic worlds of illustration and performance, with contributions from researchers at UAL and RMIT, Melbourne and UAL students selected from open submission.

Performances included contributions from LCF MA Costume for Performance with led by Agnes Treplin ‘Untitled’ by recent graduate Ester Mangas’s ‘This is Not a Mirror’, an interactive live performance and film, designed  and conceived by Isabella Bruno, Chloe Gervais, Veronica Toppino, digital design: Dimitrios Coumados, music: Jules Barre.

‘Falling Apart’, a specially created pop up performance for Granary Square, designed and conceived by Li Xiong, Su Yu Chen, Yung Chi Lin, Xiaolin Jiao, Yi Zhang.

Performances also included:

Graphic Interpretation: Aurora Melchor, Woodrow Phoenix, and Gareth Brookes ‘Drawn Together, Notes on a Table’, Maryclare Foá (alumni) Jane Grisewood (alumni) Birgitta Hosea former course leader of BA Animation CSM, Carali McCall ‘She Lives’, Woodrow Phoenix ‘Mezzotint’ by Dr. Julian Waite, University of Chester.

There were a number of workshops including:

  • Light Painting Claudia Brooks, LCF
  • Live model drawing, Sue Dray, LCF
  • People Traffic: The marks we leave, LCF BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration students
  • ILYA Manga sonnets masterclass

Watch the Film by Marie-Therese Hildenbrandt, LCF MA Fashion Media Production student

View the story “MarKings Festival 2016” on Storify

MarKings on Screen programme

MarKings On Screen Programme

Milkyway, Robin Tuck, (00.59)

BA Fashion Illustration, London College of Fashion

Stop-motion film about a girl’s transition into sci-fi visualized in a romantic way.

Study of Movement, Christina Malcica (00.30)

BA Fashion Photography, London College of Fashion

Inspired by the unpredictability of frost flowers and their formations, Study of

Movement explores garments, performance, graphic art and illustration.

Untitled, Ester Mangas Fernandez (00.24)

MA Costume for Design, London College of Fashion

The futility and privacy of making art is preserved for the future. Costume by Ester Mangas Fernandez

Alice Aires, An(ti)thesis (04.15)

BA Animation, London College of Communication.

Inspired by the theme of art therapy, this film portrays a process of transformation and change, where two dancers interact with each other.

Dark Waves, Damla Atik (02:46)

BA Fashion Design and Development, London College Of Fashion Credits:

Videographer, Kristof Pacura; Stylist, Natalia Farnaus; Sound Design, Hakan

Ozkan; Model, Eva Cornelisse.

The Story of Drawing, Professor Stephen Farthing and Gareth Johnson

Funded by UAL

A pedagogical film designed to explain the bigger picture of drawing. The film centres on a charcoal drawing of a jug and a performative drawing of the world made by 30 postgraduate students in 2015 on Granary Square, Kings Cross.

Written and narrated by Professor Stephen Farthing, Rootstein Hopkins Professor of Drawing, UAL

The Dunes, Irene Calvo Romero (12.27)

BA Film and TV, London College of Communication

Set in a forgotten care home by the sea, The Dunes is a story about finding beauty, realising strength and discovering hope. The film explores the relationship between a retired painter and a retired writer through a series of characters and elements that embrace music, dance and art.

Horizontal Herstory, Marilyn Collins (15.00)

MA Fine Art, Chelsea. 2015.

Words of feminist writers that described experiences of sexual assault were written on the artist’s body in a spontaneous performance that sees a broken figure gradually reassembled. Camera: Laura Solomons

Lady Macbeth, Alexander Ruth (07.00)

LCF MA Costume for Performance alumni

Lady Macbeth’s increasing sense of guilt and subsequent depression is symbolized by black ink that spreads on her dress. Wherever she walks, she leaves a stain that cannot be erased.

Drawing with the Body and Cloth: Tempest Dress (02.40)

Associate Professor Jessica Bugg, RMIT University, Melbourne.

A Detail from the Tempest (circa 1862) by Peter Blake inspired this exploration of embodied design methods in contemporary dance and film, developed through a physical and experiential dialogue between dancer and designer.

Manifesto Performance, Céleste Mueth (01.17)

BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media, London College of Communication.

The letter ‘E’ is the basis of this film which links numerous key words and ideas; it is also repeated in the film-makers own name.

The Lady of the House of Love, Chloé Gervais (03:29)

MA Costume Design for Performance, London College of Fashion

A re-adaptation of Angela Carter’s The Lady of the House of Love is narrated through visual performance-led, mixed animated and filmed footage. Direction, animations, design: Chloé Gervais

Herland, Amy Thomson (1.40)

BA Costume for Performance, London College of Fashion

Inspired by the feminist utopian novel Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, this film follows the narrative of the Goddess of Motherhood. In a world where all men have died, she is worshipped by women who pray for motherhood.

I Just Want to Look for You, Rosie Lee Wilson (3.30)

BA Visual Media, London College of Communication

Capitalism, social constructs and advertising pressurise women into beauty routines based on insecurities and a false sense of autonomy. These notions are likened to a sticky homogenous muck that covers everything women do.

Jumpsuit Girl part 1-11, Adele Varcoe (03.00)

PhD in Fashion & Textiles at RMIT University, Australia

Adele Varcoe is an Australian artist and designer who creates fashion experiences that explore the social effects of fashion, dress and clothes. Designed and directed by: Adele Varcoe; Sound: Adele Varcoe & Andrew McLaughlin.

Constraint & Rebel, Li Jiang (02.51)

BA Fashion Design Womenswear, London College of Fashion

Showcasing the Autumn/Winter’16 collection of Li Jiang, this film explores the controlling systems and rules of traditional culture. Is resistance futile or is it possible to celebrate difference? Concept and Design Li Jiang Director Hung-

Chun Wang, Director of Photography Hung-Chun Wang

Paradoxical Undressing, Alexandria Coe (3.41)

MA Fashion Communication & Promotion, Central Saint Martins

A response to over-saturated, retouched imagery within the beauty industry, this film combines a traditional, stop-back method of animation, naive aesthetic and voice-over that represents the fragile, infant state of female culture.

It is what it is, Xueyang Ni (02.27)

MA Fashion Media Production, London College of Fashion

The street presents a complex system of codes which in themselves represent change and innovation. Working with three designers and six street dancers, this is film captures the raw energy and exuberance of street culture, music and fashion.

He, She, Me, Kathryn Ferguson & Alex Turvey (03.33)

Commissioned by Selfridges, London.

This film explores a visual response to Agender, Selfridge’s concept space that celebrates gender fluidity. An evolving journey through a subtle push and pull between masculinity and femininity, it is captured entirely in one unbroken shot.

Feedback, Heidi Stokes (3.00)

Feedback looks at how the digital age has set a precedence for the way in which we judge others, and not always in the way we would like.

The Violet Hour, Katerina Athanasopoulou, (03.50)

Curated by Amy de la Haye, as part of 1914 Now, London College of Fashion

A foreboding of impending war within the confines of domestic, feminine space, this fractured view of a painted London city and skyscape suggests a wartime vorticist aesthetic.

Home Sweet Home, Sarah Catherine Harvey (02.37)

BA Fashion Illustration, London College of Fashion

By rejecting traditional stereotypes, this film explores contemporary topics such as desire, gender, race and relationships and reinvents them in a multi-disciplinary toy house of set design and illustration.