• James Mathurin

Thinking about Culture


Hi, I'm back!

Been away for a while, becoming a dad (life keeps offering distractions like that), but now I'm getting back to work. This was a bit of warm-up exercise, and it came from a course I'm doing as part of my day-job, where I'm getting certification for my Learning Support work. We were asked to make an image that reflected on our culture. It was just meant to be a quick A4 image, but, well... I needed to get my drawing muscles going, so this was what came out:

Now, if that isn't entirely self-explanatory (and it shouldn't be, as this was obviously a very personal piece), let me clarify, from the foreground back:

  • The dancers are from a photo I took of a procession at the Notting Hill carnival. I've been wanting to use that image for ages, and the carnival is a perfect image for the St Lucian to London immigrant side of my family.

  • The statue behind them is the International Brigade monument, which can be found on London's South Bank. This represents a huge part of my Mum's side of the family; my Great-Grandad fought in the Spanish Civil War, as part of the anti-fascist International Brigade. He left a culture of principled Left-Wing politics in the family, which is still going.

  • The next symbol is the London Underground Roundel. I'd love to know a symbol that more immediately shouts "London!".

  • On the left is the Public Enemy logo. Hip Hop, as a music and a culture has been part of my life, as a soundtrack and a philosophy, since Public Enemy's Apocalypse 91: The Enemy Strikes Black. Their 95 show at the Clapham Grand was also my first gig, and I've now seen them on both sides of the world. I wouldn't be the person I am without this act.

  • Behind all of these is the Sydney Opera House. I think that's pretty self-explanatory.

  • The framing device is a comic book cover. Anyone looking at the pages on my site can see how big an influence comics and comic art have been on me. I feel like I should specify a few, so Milestone Media (referenced in the box in the top left) with its artists like MD "Doc" Bright, Denys Cowan, Chriscross, John Paul Leon, JH Williams, Wilfred and Eric Battle; Rom Spaceknight with Sal Buscema and Steve Ditko, and; a whole bunch of great artists who've worked on Transformers over the years (Geoff Senior, Andrew Wildman, EJ Su, Nick Roche, Alex Milne and Sarah Stone).

#UK #sketches #london #characterart #opinion #culture #carnival #publicenemy #hiphop

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© 2020

Sydney, New South Wales | James Mathurin | james.mathurin@gmail.com

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