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UAL Research Online

CELL - set of six illustrations

Williamson, Alex and O'Neill, Martin (2006) CELL - set of six illustrations. [Art/Design Item]

Type of Research: Art/Design Item
Creators: Williamson, Alex and O'Neill, Martin

CELL – set of commissioned illustrations were created for The Times publication of 16 pages of what was Stephen King’s new novel at the time. The publication of Cell marked King’s engagement with a new younger audience who frequently communicate by cell (of mobile) phone. As the narrative unfolds, the cell-phone transmits messages destroying brain cells leading to the mass destruction of the population world-wide. The few survivors and their problems of living and communicating become Cell’s key theme. It went on to become an international best seller.

The illustrations were created using a method demonstrated in Williamson’s Catolog (Conningsby Gallery, 2005) with co-exhibitor Martin O’Neill. The method consists of compiling an ongoing archive of found/sourced images and objects from which selections can be made according to the requirements of the commission. These selections form the basis of Williamson’s illustrations before additional artwork. A further aspect of the method is based on William Burrough’s cut-up theory in Third Mind in which two apparently unrelated elements are combined to create an ‘unspoken’ third meaning that favours intuition over reason. A wider context for the application of this approach to graphic art and design was articulated by Jon Wozencroft in The Graphic Language of Neville Brody. The illustrations for Cell were created using the ‘cut-up’ method with archive materials chosen to inflect with the turning points in King’s narrative.

The preparation of the illustrations was also informed by a period of travel in America during which Williamson’s archive expanded.
Williamson’s methods were discussed in Ian Noble’s Picture Perfect 2003 which examined how illustrators research and create their images. A number of images from Williamson’s American archive appear in Noble’s book and, along with a number of published illustrations appear on Williamson’s website.

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: RAE2008 UoA63
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Date: 25 February 2006
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2009 23:00
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2012 12:00
Item ID: 1538
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1538

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