52 Crows

52 Crows

52 Crows - whats is all about. This article appeared in the "Arts in Wiltshire" newsletter on 8/6/18

Let me tell you a story…… Last year, quite by surprise I was asked to illustrate a new book “A Pocketful of Crows” by internationally best selling author Joanne Harris (published by Orion). Astonished by the request, I plunged into my first ever book commission – 24 black and white pencil drawings of natural history and folklore, a daunting task on very tight time scale. However this magical story called for exactly the kind of fine detail drawing that I am passionate about. The finished book was released in October 2017 with great success and many of the reviewers were kind enough to comment favourably on my illustrations. Touched by the kind words of praise for my illustrations, I decided to embark on a personal project where I could indulge my passion for drawing. 52 Crows was born on New Years Eve as a yearlong drawing challenge. The concept was really very simple, every Monday for the whole year I would draw a crow or raven related illustration and post it on my twitter account @BHHillustration. Why crows? Well they are intelligent social birds that appear in the mythology and folklore of almost every civilization and culture. Being opportunists and wide spread, they form a family of birds “Corvids” that most people will have encountered them. As you can imagine 52 drawings on a single theme is quite a task. So to keep me going for the whole year and inspire each illustration, I invited people to send me a crow related story, poem or snippet of folklore. Both illustration and writing being posted on my blog every Monday evening. http://www.bonniehelenhawkins.com/blog. The response has been was unexpected and overwhelming, with people sending me stories and messages of encouragement from all over the world. By the end of the year 53 people will have collaborated in this arts and literature project, myself and 52 writers - probably making this the largest collaborative none-funded social media arts project in the country at the moment. Some people have called for the project to be made into a book and this is something I am exploring. To make the project as inclusive as possible I am working with a young film student, Oli Rahill, to create short “performance” videos where the author reads their work over a film of the illustration actually being drawn. The first example is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-90Ay8JJxH0&t=1s And there are many more in development. A quick overview of the project can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4V3hipRwc80 I am now in discussion with an exhibition venue about the possibility of displaying all 52 illustrations and related stories in 2019. An announcement will be made when the dates are confirmed. There is still time to take part in the project by emailing your story or poem (max 600) to [email protected] For more information please email me at [email protected] Or go to the following website: http://www.bonniehelenhawkins.com http://www.joanne-harris.co.uk www.olirahill.weebly.com
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Impressive work, and it will be an excellent and very interesting exhibition.

I have really enjoyed all of your Crow pictures and I wish you luck with any and all of the follow ups you do.

That was so interesting to read Bonnie and well done on your achievement, your art work is really marvellous.