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About the Illustrator

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John Gray Centre
Project Artist

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theft of umbrella illustration by lucy roscoe


Project Artist at the John Gray Centre, Haddington

July 2012 - January 2013

When the John Gray Centre invited me to join them as a Project Artist for six months I readily accepted, eager to discover a new source of inspiration for my work and take the opportunity to dive into some new research. As an Illustrator based next door in Edinburgh for the last few years, I knew only a little about the county of East Lothian, however after only a few hours with the team of archivists at the Centre I had discovered a wealth of stories, characters and history.

Over the next few months I worked closely with the team to explore the museum and archive collections and create a series of illustrations and sculptural artworks that began to bring the collections to life. Alongside this I led some creative workshops at the Centre that were also rooted in the collection.

One of the first artifacts the team showed me inspired a major piece of creative work for the project. Lyndsey introduced me to the fascinating Haddington Criminal Register. A beautiful object in itself, the handwritten ledger documents the exploits of criminals in Haddington between around 1894 and 1901. It details the offender, offence, time, place and the punishment given; however interestingly it also offers a detailed physical description of each individual, obviously no mug shots were available back then. In addition to a few comedy errors in judgment, the ledger reveals some very young criminals, repeat offenders, the mischiefs of those from a much higher class and also surprisingly very little pattern or regularity to the punishments given.

In response to this interesting book I created a series of short cartoons illustrating the crimes and characters described, capturing their humour and hopefully some poignancy too.

In addition to this I spent much of the time drawing from observation around the county, then bringing the drawings back into the archive to seek out stories and memories related to each place. The result of this is the artist's book 'A Mark in Time', available to buyon the shop page.

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