On the CD cover is a machine-like construction resembling a human bust. The frontal ‘portrait’ on a gold leaf background reminds medieval image traditions and stresses the ‘majestic’, ‘stuff-of-legends’ characteristics of the Conqueror. Plants and fungi grow from in between the cracks and crannies of the machine parts: life finds a way. The backside of the cover features root networks on the inside of the Conqueror’s metal shell.
The artwork for this metal album was naturally heavily inspired by the music and the lyrics of the album itself. It is about struggle, rejection, anger, and about the will to overcome adversities. The concept of the makeshift conqueror, of one who does not stick to one rigid plan but is able to adjust as he goes along, is ultimately not a negative one.
Where the cover contrasts machinic and natural elements, the drawings inside the booklet continue in a series of juxtapositions. The atmosphere and elements of the drawings are derived from the music itself. Organised in clear geometric shapes, lead opposes gold, a ravine opposes a mountain, glowing coals oppose billowing waves and a cracked stone opposes a burning sun. The series culminates in a labyrinthian composition with a cinnabar stone at the centre.
This series of drawings (30 altogether) illustrates a research project by the University of Edinburgh into two refugee camps in Kenya and Burkina Faso. A team of researchers investigated how materials are creatively repurposed by the inhabitants of the camps according to their needs. This analysis of energy access in the camps and resilience strategies deployed the camps’ inhabitants makes clear that new methodological approaches are needed to give more insight into how to improve humanitarian energy interventions and policies.
The Christmas Plate is a project that I inherited from my grandfather Hans Müller who was a passionate painter and porcelain designer. He designed every edition of the series until 2018, with the exception of the 1971 edition. The Christmas Plate limited edition series was initiated in 1967 by the porcelain company Bareuther on the occasion of their 100th birthday. Rosenthal continued the series when taking over Bareuther due to the popularity of the Christmas Plate. The Christmas Plate takes inspiration from traditional German illustrations from the 19th century, sharing the tranquil atmosphere that many people associate with a peaceful Christmas.
Creative Edinburgh is a cultural organisation in Edinburgh. One of their many contributions to a vibrant art scene is the yearly Creative Edinburgh Award, which is made up of different categories. In 2020, local artists were invited to create an artwork to use for the promotion and celebration of this year’s awards. My award category is ‘Commercial’.
I drew an underwater scene of a diver just about to touch a pearl. The diver has plunged deep into the sea and is at the bottom of a swirl of air bubbles, sea creatures, and valuable humanmade things, all representing the adventurous aspects of the creative process and collaboration.
What makes a commercial campaign valuable is not necessarily about profits, but about enriching the lives of the users with deeper values. A successful commercial campaign is one that brings something good and beautiful (also in an immaterial sense) to a community and shares something unique with a wider audience. This is what the symbol of the pearl stands for.
An events series celebrating looped electronic music and video art.
Michael Schwarzfischer, organisor:
Beim Versuch, das Leben in Vergangenheit, Gegenwart und Zukunft einzuteilen, stellen wir immer wieder fest, dass sich die Dinge wiederholen. Beinahe täglich derselbe Input, dieselben Diskussionen, dieselbe Arbeit. Die Routine des Eat-Sleep-Work-Repeat hat in unserem Leben Zeitschleifen erschaffen. Das erscheint zunächst negativ, doch muss es das sein? Die Künstler des Abends wollen nicht darunter leider, sondern machen sich diese Zeitschleifen zu Nutze.
Supported by the Edward Clark Trust, Merchiston Publishing and Edinburgh Napier University.
My approach as an illustrator is usually to shift the focus from the surface, which is already described by the text, to the more subtle themes beneath. This can result in an almost abstract quality to the illustrations. The aim is to supplement rather than repeat levels of understanding by supporting atmospheres or communicating meaning through visual metaphors which allow a change in perspective. The illustrations for The Rainbow Fairy Book involve surreal, puzzle-like clusters of story elements rather than specific situations or scenes. At the heart of each composition is a symmetrical, geometric symbol which compresses characteristics of the stories. This consistent method gives coherence to the series while freeing me to do justice to the individual stories.
Kellie Jones, editor:
‘Introducing seven fairy tales from the coloured fairy books of Andrew Lang: Scotland’s answer to the Brothers Grimm.
You’ve met Cinderella; now meet Cinderlad. Where water restores an immortal man’s magic, a prince can talk only when the sun shines, and a girl can be anything – fish, deer, ant, monkey; or a warrior who saves her family.
From the fir tree who dreams, to the wife who wishes, follow The Rainbow Fairy Book through love and adventure.’