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Dan P Vertical 04 RefugeesThis week I introduced a fascinating Vertical Studio talk at Cardiff Met by CSAD Illustration graduate and Associate Lecturer Dan Peterson. Dan’s talk led through abundant and poignant first-hand drawings and paintings made while embedded with the military in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2011, a subsequent voyage with HMS Bulwark picking up Libyan refugees in the Mediterranean and a recent visit to Bangladesh as part of the Connecting Classrooms initiative.

The talk prompted conversations about differences between reportage drawing and photography: divergent ways images are valued by subjects, the comparative amount of time they take, the instant rapport often formed between artist and drawn subject in public and liminal spaces, contrasted with potential anxieties of the photographed subject.  Looking forward to reading Gary Embury and Mario Minichiello’s handling of this subject in their new publication ‘Reportage Illustration: Visual Journalism’ (Bloomsbury, Jan 2018).

Dan also alluded to the protocols and sensitivities around depiction and publication of military sites and personnel in action.


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‘Vertical Studio’ is a CSAD Illustration programme initiative bringing together all four years of the BA and Masters  for a weekly lunchtime lecture or guest talk. I’ve given two about creative habits and have recorded a couple through drawing. This time I thought I’d go 3D to bring the outdoors in. There have been pop-up universities but not many in paper as yet. Move over Miss Saigon!