Babylon ARTS is collaborating with local Manga Artist, Irina Richards, to create 60 new illustrations, one for each of the Babylon Gallery window panes that face onto Pegasus Walk (Ely Riverside). The exhibition will comprise of three separate comic ‘strips’, two based on Irina’s own stories and one using a poem and this is where the public come in.
There are two ways for people to get involved. The first is by adding the colour to a black and white illustration produced by Irina. Babylon ARTS is looking for 36 people/households to adopt and co-design an individual illustration. They welcome families, individuals and groups, artist or not, to adopt an illustration to be given its colour. It could be using pens, paints, collage, pencils or crayons, as long as it remains flat.
The second way to get involved is by submitting a poem by 14th June 2020 via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. One poem will be selected and turned into a 24-windowpane comic strip by Irina Richards.
Irina said about the project: "Comic Book Windows is a great creative opportunity open to everyone who enjoys art. The resulting artwork will hopefully create a bit of a talking point for those who may see it on their daily walks! I hope that it encourages participation from members of the local community."
All poetry submissions and the finished comic strips will be made into a limited-edition booklet. These will then be given away to the first 200 visitors to the Babylon Gallery when it re-opens and everyone who has got involved will also receive a copy.
The project is part of Babylon ARTS’s Creative Communities work, which includes the Together in Isolation Postcard Project. This has already seen over 30 submissions from the public – including professional and amateur artists, as well as those trying their hand at creative design for the first time.
As Claire Somerville, chief executive of Babylon ARTS said: “We’re always keen to involve the community in creative ways and this doesn’t stop just because our doors are currently closed. In fact, the situation makes us look for new ways to use our Gallery and to reach out to people, who may be feeling isolated. We hope that by getting involved in these projects people will feel more connected with each other and pleased that they’re creatively contributing to something positive in their community.”
These projects are supported by Arts Council England through their Emergency Response Fund, made possible by players of the National Lottery. Babylon ARTS, has secured a grant to support its resilience during this period and to enable the organisation to maintain and build its connections with the community, event whilst the gallery and cinema remain closed.
Find out more about the project and how to get involved here.