UWE Bristol hosts exhibition of illustrations that record London life in the 21st Century

Issue date: 24 January 2014

Example from the Exhibition

'Topolski's Chronicle for the Twenty First Century'

UWE Bristol, Bower Ashton Campus 28 to 31 January

See flickr album

Topolski Studio, in partnership with Reportager at UWE Bristol has been running the first reportage drawing residency programme which commenced in September 2013. The scheme trains young people not in education, employment or training for a three-month programme of reportage drawing.

An exhibition showcasing reportage drawings of London Life by the 'Tolpolski Residency students' is coming to UWE Bristol next week. Topolski Studio and Reportager at UWE Bristol present the work of Matt Booker, Laura Fitton, Josh Morris, Alex Nicholson, Chloë Parke and Louis Vinet and will include work by the students shown alongside some of Feliks Topolski's original drawings and chronicles.

The Exhibition 'Topolski's Chronicle for the Twenty First Century' runs from Tuesday 28 to Friday 31 January at the F block Gallery at UWE Bristol's Bower Ashton Campus. There is a private view on Monday 27 January from 18:00 to 20:00.

Over the past four months Gary Embury, a Senior lecturer in Illustration from UWE Bristol has been working with a group of artists taking part in the Topolski Residency. The student artists from across the UK have attended master classes in drawing and emulated the idea behind the work of Feliks Topolski who chronicled the day to day life of the South Bank in London and also created a memoir of the 20th century through his reportage drawings.

Feliks Topolski (1907-1989) was the first artist on the South Bank, London, who set up studios there in 1953 from where he hand-printed over 2,300 of his on the spot drawings as his broadsheet Chronicles. Covering events from the Queen's Coronation to London street scenes, the Chronicles bristle with comment and observation about the people, politics and events of the time.

Gary Embury explains, “The drawing programme was co-delivered by myself and Andrea Marie, the education and outreach officer from Topolski studio including several master classes from well renowned practitioners. Reportage drawing is aligned with photojournalism and is concerned with recording issues, events, activities and daily life in situ and 'on the spot' through drawing. We drew in a number of locations including Parliament, the Royal Courts of Justice, the Fracking site at Balcombe, recording through drawing and annotation, conversations, observations and other relevant information.

“The six young artists have been reporting issues and events through drawing for two days each week for the past four months. They have produced a hand-printed Chronicle, a broadsheet of reportage drawing chronicling contemporary issues of the Twenty-First Century just as artist Feliks Topolski did of the Twentieth. They have also spent time editing, organising, running workshops, producing, printing and distributing the first Chronicle since 1982. The work at times highlights and records the diverse social and cultural changes taking place in our cities in the 21st century.”

To see more images look at the reportage website or Reportager blog.

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