currently I’ve primarily been looking at work inspired by Charles Bukwoski, but I thought I should also expand my horizons by also exploring other contemporary illustrators creating poetry focused work. I researched into the Folio society and found the illustrator Jonathon Gibb’s how illustrated book of collected poems. He was commissioned by th Folio society to create a set of wood engraving, as a set of twenty illustrations for the book of Robert Frost’s Collected Poems with additional designs for cover, spine and frontispiece.
The imagery is self-contained but stands beside the text as a complementary visual element.On the Gibb’s page where he lectures he has made an educational research video where he discusses his work and the lead up to it. He explains that the imagery he used embody a abstracted and symbolic interpretation of landscape, elements of nature and the human condition. This si vastly different from the work I’ve been exploring previously, which was far more heavily featured on grasping the exact emotion and landscape, rather than a representation of it.
The volume contains 184 poems of Frost’s published work, from which the artist, Folio’s editors and the Frost estate agreed upon 20 to be illustrated I also really like how the cover and spine show elements of the illustrations from the poems;; the spine showing positive and negative tree and star forms as a gold-blocked emblem. The frontispiece depicts the barn, woods and landscape; a place where Frost worked.
I’ve really fallen in love with this illustrators work and I love the approach I have seen to the work also. Not only does the work symbolically represent the poetry it also doesn’t add too much information. It allows the natural elements of the poetry speak through his illustrations. This is vastly different from Crumb and Ponzi, which is a little unsurprising because obviously the content is very different. But, I don’t think it would do me any harm to create work that doesn’t go for the bold over-confident stark illustrations but instead allows the simple natural symbolic nature of illustration, definitely something worth considering