Each Spring for the last 16 years we’ve been asked to create something summery, funny and seaside-y to showcase Aldeburgh Music’s Snape Proms, which runs from 1–31 August. The Proms consist of 30 events over 30 nights – comedy, poetry, folk, classical and everything in between. All held at one of the most beautiful locations in Suffolk (or anywhere else for that matter) – Snape Maltings.
Over the years we’ve come up with lots of different ideas to represent what the Snape Proms is all about – postcards, crabbing, shoes, travel tickets and graffiti to name a few – and always with a sense of place.
For 2015 we’ve used rope (yes rope) to create a series of illustrations that reflect 30 hot summer nights of entertainment (ok maybe not hot, it is the UK). Given rope’s association with fishing and sailing, both synonymous with the Suffolk coast, we thought it was a nice fit.
So how did we create them? It wasn’t as simple as it may sound It all started with bundles of rope – thick and thin, manilla and synthetic, natural and bright – then we had some fun. First came a spark of an idea to communicate the landscape or music, then we had the task of trying to translate these thoughts via various lengths of rope. We tried a couple of things and while the treatment worked in principle the illustrations lacked movement and energy. It became apparent that the objects needed to be more organic with plenty of curves.
The Blue Peter moment The breakthrough for the style came when we started to let the rope do more of the work. By laying down lots of pieces of double-sided tape on a board (we're Blue Peter kids) it gave a platform for the rope to stick and allowed us to be a bit more carefree about where it fell. Then by using a series of loops and twists which followed a thought in our head, the resulting illustrations had the right feel.
Free movement Once we started to let the rope have some ‘freedom’ everything else just fell in to place. Then came the more straight-forward task of photographing our works of art for the programme brochure.
Our handywork is shown below…
Blowing our own trumpet – original studio photography (left), how the tape worked (right), the finished illustration (above)
Suffolk seaside samphire – work in progress (left), original studio photography (right), the finished illustration (above)
Hokusai inspired waves –original studio photography (top), the finished illustration (above)
Ice cream complete with strawberry sauce – work in progress (left), original studio photography (right), the finished illustration (above) Find out more about this year's Snape Proms here