An illustrated narrative.
A Varoomlab Journal published research paper delivered at University of Wales Trinity Saint David & featured on Reportager.
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.
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.
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.
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.'
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.’