Rachel Cannings (She/Her)
I am Glasgow based illustrator interested in posters, books and self publishing. My practice revolves around drawing, sometimes observational but primarily imagined. My projects often begin with an interesting story or photo, which I then research to find more narratives and photographs to explore and draw from. I find printmaking processes fascinating and like to refer to the history and practice of print in my work.
I am seeking Glasgow based graduate opportunities.
‘CMYK’ is a short book set in a world which revolves around printed matter. In this town posters are seen as sacred and poster stands are used as event calendars. The narrative shows a series of posters and their corresponding events, exploring the symbiotic relationship between people and print.
Using pencil drawing has allowed me to explore the often chaos of city living, showing a partly imagined and partly remembered way of life. These drawings exaggerate reactions and moments of conversation, to capture these often intangible forms of expressions. Among these city scenes, is a focus on the production of a poster, from printing to distribution.
This project has been heavily influenced by research into the fantastic Polish School of Posters, where event posters were prolific and well regarded. These posters were witty, innovative, and subversive, leading to Poland being referred to as a ‘Plakatodrom’ (land of posters). Footage shows large crowds gathered around poster stands discussing the merits of each one, something you wouldn’t imagine happening in the UK today. The brilliance of these posters created a unique bond between people and print, something I hope you can see in ‘CMYK’.
Prints and books available to buy through my website or my Instagram.
Edition of 100.
‘The Nickel Hopper’ Poster
A poster designed for GSA Film Festival 2020. ‘The Nickel Hopper’ (1926) is a short silent comedy film starring Mabel Normand. The film portrays the life of a young ‘taxi dancer’ attempting to become financially emancipated from her controlling father. My poster refers to the dancing imagery in the film, while suggesting some of her independence through a commanding stance.
Talking Turkeys Book Cover
A book cover created for the Penguin Student Design Award. Zephaniah’s book is a collection of poetry aimed at children from ages 8-12. The poems cover many themes, therefore I chose to focus solely on the title poem. The poem comedically encourages the reader to rethink their relationship towards their christmas turkey, urging a more vegetarian approach. The cover captures the personalities of the birds, caught in a moment of conversation.
How To Disappear & Never Be Found
This 2 week project began from research I did for my extended essay on book piracy. ‘How To Disappear & Never Be Found’ is a heavily pirated ‘how-to’ book on vanishing from society. Each screenprint takes inspiration from chapter headings in the book, initially acting as individual illustrations. While the chapter headings of the book are intriguing, the contents is romanticised and outdated. Instead, I added my own text, giving a greater narrative weight to the prints and uniting them into a short story.