Posts Tagged ‘CUNE CiR’

Sign language and monsters

Written by Maura Manninen on . Posted in CUNE CiR Blog, Our Blogs

A bunch of comics-enthusiasts gathered on August 8th at the Comics Center to celebrate the opening of a new exhibition at the Comics Center Gallery. The atmosphere was literally quite warm as people circled inside exploring all kinds of monsters and robots doing their daily routines.

Matt Boyce, photo by Jack BarnesThe man behind the exhibition is Matt Boyce (1981), a British artist who comes from a bilingual family. Both his parents are deaf, and he is fluent in English and British sign language. Sign language is part of both his own art and teaching work at a college in London. The Everyday Monsters exhibition is part of Matt’s residency project in the CUNE Comics-in-Residence programme.

The day before the opening I sat down with Matt and we talked about the residency and his stay here in Helsinki. What are his plans for the forthcoming month, what are his first impressions so far and what are the things that inspire him?

Matt told me that during his first week in Finland he has mainly done some touristy things like looking at sights and walking around Helsinki. During his residency Matt will be staying at Suomenlinna, an island off the coast of Helsinki that holds an old maritime fort built in the 18th century. He has been overall impressed by his lodgings at HIAP residence center.

“It’s great to have a big house all for myself. It’s the biggest place I’ve ever stayed in. It’s kind of funny to have a big space for painting and there I am, working on my comics.” During his residency Matt will be working on a new comic book, but that’s still very much a work in progress.

The way Matt uses sign language in his comics interests me. There is no sound involved in comics anyway, and all sounds from speech to effects are presented visually. Does he still feel like it’s important to incorporate sign language into comics? I revealed my ignorance to Matt and he gave me an answer:

“British sign language is different from English, and not everyone who speaks sign language knows English. For me, sign language was the first language I learned, and I still find English weird sometimes even though I can speak it fluently. In my teaching I use simple English and try to keep the style very visual. I teach courses for deaf children, and it’s important that everyone understands the comics I use for teaching.”

The most important thing for Matt is that everyone can draw comics and express themselves. This will also be the basis of the workshop he will be teaching during August at the Comics Center in Helsinki and HIAP’s Gallery Augusta. During the workshop the participants will be making autobiographical comics using sign language, similar to the courses Matt is teaching in London. He showed me some comics made in the workshops by deaf children who are leaving school. In the comics they talk about themselves but also their fears regarding the future. Matt explained to me that in England, deaf children get support and help with studies while they’re at school but after graduation they might have anxieties about the future. In their comics the children talk about their dreams for the future but also the obstacles they might run into.

Matt describes the island he is living on as both strangely silent and filled with tourists at the same time. The tourist crowds have actually given him an inspiration for a zombie-comic – both tourists and zombies are known to wander around in large packs with no sense of direction.

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EVERYDAY MONSTERS exhibition is open at the Comics Center Gallery until August 31st.

Interview and exhibition photos by Laura Antola. Matt’s photo by Jack Barnes.

Dace Sietina

Written by Maura Manninen on . Posted in Artists, Dutch artists

 daceportrait_smallerDace Sietina (b. 1978), originally from Latvia, studied illustration in Willem de Kooning academy in Rotterdam. After graduating she very soon published her first comics in Kus! Magazine.

Later on her works also appeared in “van Spijk”, “Stripburger”, “Naturegraffix”, Popper and other various books and magazines. In 2012 she won “Stripgrafiek” prijs  in the Netherlands (Graphic comic prize).

Mathilde Vangheluwe

Written by Maura Manninen on . Posted in Artists, Belgian artists

mathildeMathilde Vangheluwe (b. 1989) lives and works in Gent, Belgium. She co-founded illustration and comics collective Tieten met haar.

In 2011, her work won her a first prize at the Fumetto international comix festival competition in Lucerne, Switzerland. Her comics appears in publications such as La Trama (IT) and Slang (NL).

Valentine Gallardo

Written by Maura Manninen on . Posted in Artists, Belgian artists

valentineValentine Gallardo (b. 1987) lives and works in Gent, Belgium. She publishes her own books and the works of others with her collective Tieten met haar.

She has contributed to various zines in Belgium, Italy and the UK. She is regularly involved with SKETCH, a monthly drawing event, and travels across Europe to comics festivals to promote young Belgian artists.

Kathrin Klingner

Written by Maura Manninen on . Posted in Artists, German artists

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Kathrin Klingner (b.1979, Germany) left her home country to study Fine Arts in Amsterdam, returned after 8 happy years and now lives with two cats and her roommate in Hamburg, where she draws semi-autobiographic stories, works as a waitress and is involved in the organization of the Hamburg Comicfestival.


Nordicomics Islands and CUNE Comics-in-Residence artists selected

Written by Maura Manninen on . Posted in News

Nordicomics Islands artists

Nordicomics Islands residence artists have been selected! The decisions were first announced at the Altcom festival in Malmö 10th Nov. From over 40 applicants, the Finnish Comics Society chose the following five artists for the four residencies:

Reykjavik, Iceland: Josefin Svenske (SWE)
Svenske will work on a personal story about her own family history and document her stay in Reykjavik through a comics diary.

See Josefin’s works at her website: http://josefinsvenske.se

Nuuk, Greenland: Mari Ahokoivu (FIN) & Søren Mosdal (DEN)
During residency Ahokoivu will research and work on a graphic novel that involves Nordic folklore about bears and nature while Mosdal focuses on his new graphic novel ‘Nastrand’ that explores the viking Thorkell Farserk’s life after his death in Greenland.

See Mari’s works at her blog: http://mariahokoivu.tumblr.com
See Søren’s works at his website: http://sm.anport.dk

Tórshavn, the Faroe Islands: Eeva Meltio (FIN)
Meltio will work on a comics short story about the tradition of pilot whale hunting in the Faroese Islands.

See Eeva’s works at her website: http://kaarnadesign.org

Mariehamn, Åland: Linus Strandberg (SWE)
Strandberg will work on his autobiographical graphic novel ‘Kumlinge’ that focuses on his childhood experiences of growing up in the Åland archipelago.

See Linus’ works at his website: http://arkizine.blogspot.se

CUNE Comics-in-Residence artists

The first three artists to participate in CUNE Comics-in-Residence programme were selected from 60 applications by the residence coordinators of Helsinki, Riga and Tallinn. The decisions were announced in Tallinn 17th Nov at the Koomiksipäev event.

Helsinki, Finland: Kristel Maamägi (EST)
Maamägi’s project will be a story about her grandmother and how it is possible to face life’s everyday challenges in one’s own creative way, and how not being an artist does not necessarily mean having to live an artless life.

See Kristel’s works at her website: http://kristelmaamagi.tumblr.com

Riga, Latvia: James Turek (GER/USA)
Turek will embark on a series of open workshops to places known or unknown in and around Riga. The sessions’s aim is to draw in places and to interact with people one normally does not, and to bring a sense of adventure and fun to making comics.

See James’ works at his website: http://absoluteturek.blogspot.com

Tallinn, Estonia: Tommy A (NED)
In his project, Tommy will explore the gap between comics and high art and its complexity in an essay drawn as a comic, using the language of the medium to fully illustrate the unique aspects of comics.

See Tommy’s works at his website: http://tommya.nl

Tommy A

Written by Maura Manninen on . Posted in Artists, Dutch artists

Tommy A (1980) lives and works in Amsterdam. He holds a bachelor in Fine Arts, draws autobiographic comics, and has been active in the Dutch comic-scene for over a decade. Amongst other things he co-founded the Dutch Professional Association for Comic Creators (Beroepsvereniging Nederlandse Stripmakers).

James Turek

Written by Maura Manninen on . Posted in Artists, German artists

After nearly ten years of calling Brooklyn his home, James J. Turek (b. 1973) bought a van from his friend, packed his earthly possessions and dog in it and headed back to his hometown in Florida. In 2010 he came to Leipzig, Germany for a visit, but got caught in a bear trap and never left. His brother kept the dog, sold the van and James’ junk still collects dust in his garage.

Nordicomics and its projects are funded by Nordic Culture Point, Nordic Children's and Youth Committee – NORDBUK, and the Finnish Comics Society. All images are the copyright of their respective owners.