The illustrations themselves are a mix of pen drawing and digital colouring and texturing. The pen drawings focus on details, which I hope help to suggest the differences in experience when deciding, for example, whether to have a sit down meal or a picnic at your funeral. The colour pallet uses autumnal reds, oranges and yellows, with the marks and textures of paint and pastel layered up on top.
Each illustration took around three hours, and as a result of this time spent daydreaming about funerals, something has changed in the way I think about death. I think it happened because every now and then as I was drawing, I'd consider what I might like for my own funeral and in imagining my funeral repeatedly I eventually just accepted it. I'm not sure I'd ever really thought about my own death in a normal way before then. But now that I have, death in general has lost a lot of it's potency. I think about death quite often now, quite comfortably, along side thoughts of life.
I hope that The Crossing can provide the starting point for others to consider their funerals, and death in general, as part of the story of their lives.
How do you want your loved ones to experience and remember your death?
Over the past year, while I've been drawing cardboard coffins and cold buffets, funeral directors, rabbis, monumental masons, caterers, viking urns, floral wreaths, mushroom suits, heart-shaped gravestones, teddy bear ash-holders, bicycle hearses, pubs, crematoriums and eco burial sites, I have come to see funerals, and death in a completely new light.
A well planned funeral can be a really meaningful and helpful event at a difficult time. It is the celebration of a life, for the people who live on after that life has ended. And the illustrations for The Crossing have come to reflect that sense of life to me. They are a collection of the people, places and objects which surround a life. They represent the many different shapes and sizes of funeral you can have, and the impact your funeral has on the way your life and death will be experienced and remembered by your loved ones.
Working today on these illustrations of funeral celebrants also for The Crossing.
I've just finished working on these illustrations of the different food options you can choose from in The Crossing. What takes your fancy?
Just finished this illustration for The Crossing. It will form the inside of a menu shaped piece, with the exterior of the florists on the front, and doors which you open to reveal this selection of flowers to choose from for your funeral.
For the past week I've been working on a couple of pieces for Glasgow Life's Christmas pantomime Aladdin. I was brought on board by the lovely Brian Hartley. Here are a few snaps of the unpainted structure for Aladdin's cave. It will be decorated to look like a shop front on the outside, and a glittery fantastical cave on the inside. The small central doors open to allow a performer to climb through, then at a later point the larger doors open to reveal the inside of the cave. This and the magic washing machine have been really interesting builds, I enjoy making objects which will be used in performance, and I can't wait to see them in action!
A test run of the full-size Magic Washing Machine I'm working on for a panto version of Aladdin. It will 'magically' switch a dirty garment for a clean garment. This is the unfinished wooden structure, next it will get tested by the cast, then painted to look less like a wooden box and more like a washing machine.
Another miniature test, this time for a set piece which changes colour and gets bigger.
Here's a quick clip of a miniature version of a magic washing machine I was working on today. It switches one object for another using a self contained mechanism.
I am a Glasgow based visual artist and maker.