Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Werewolf



'It is a cold northern country; they have cold weather, they have cold hearts. A child decides to visit her sick grandmother deep in the forest. She takes her father's hunting knife with her...'

Twenty years ago around this time, I traveled to Australia to study illustration. There I unlearned and relearned everything I ever knew about drawing, literature, language and illustration. Apart from expressing myself in words, I learned to voice my opinions visually. This was akin to learning a new language except that instead of putting down words on paper, I drew images. But then I learned how to draw these images in a way where they would say what I wanted them to say.I remember I drew far more than I had ever done until then and I remember trying to figure out what worked and what didn’t with my drawings. 

The image above was for a story by Angela Carter called The Werewolf which I did as part of my final project work at Queensland College of Art. It is based on the fairy tale of Red Riding Hood, but with a chilling twist - The wolf who attacks the girl on her way to her grandmother, turns out to be the alter ego of this grandmother-werewolf. The image denatures Little Red Riding Hood accordingly: the figure of the girl and the hood is traditional. The character of the girl and the setting are Carter.

The reason I put the picture above up on my blog was the similarity of the environment within it to the cold winter forests in Sutton (below) where I was taken for a walk. I am surprised that the environment that I created in my image twenty years ago ended up manifesting itself in real life later, even if only for one seemingly endless blink of an eye.

























8 comments:

Julie said...

What? You drew this 20 years ago? You had already found your voice! I thought it was a brand new illustration. If you saw what I use to draw in my twenties 0-o.
This illustration really reminds me of some of our forests in the winter. Black and white, trees stripped to their bare minimum with sometimes a unexpected pop of color. What an austere beauty!

priya vadhyar said...

What a stunning illustration. Love everything about it. The trees, the figure, the red red hood and the motion of the figure. The image evokes a sense of bitter cold and something sinister.

Priya Sebastian said...

Thanks Julie. I remember I have a picture of you walking through the monochrome forest wearing a red cap. I thought I would put it here too. But there is a brute force Jedi in that picture.

Thank you Priya. This was the illustration that I tentatively put up during a class critique to see if I met the standards there. Yes, the story is also a cold one with a sinister ending.

silvia - idiaridellalambretta said...

beautiful illustration ♥

Nancy // and while we are here said...

I can only imagine how fantastic a Brother's Grimm fairy tale book that was completely illustrated by you must be! I love this deep and dark illustration you did for Angela Carter's story!

Priya Sebastian said...

Thank you Silvia!

Priya Sebastian said...

Nancy, I think both your photographs and my illustrations should illustrate a Brothers Grimm fairy tale book!

Nancy // and while we are here said...

One day we really should do that, Priya!