Heart Seeker: Heart Eater is a collaboration between artist and illustrator Caroline List and poet Mairi Campbell-Jack.
Their work is currently on display in Central Library, both in the Art Library and on the main staircase and foyer, and will remain on show until the end of January.
The overall theme of Caroline’s work is the figure in all its complexity – human figures, animal figures and a whole range of hybrid creatures emerging from literature, mythology, folk – and fairytales and through her own play and experimentation with collage.
Caroline views collage as an inexhaustible and exciting medium which allows her to explore how material can be used to add something and become part of the narrative of an image.
Caroline has participated in exhibitions in Britain, Cyprus, the US and Japan and has been awarded the Gold Medal for the category Book at Images 35 in London in 2011.
Mairi Campbell-Jack is a poet who has a deep interest in the human body, myth, inner emotional life and experimental form. Mairi has a double pamphlet collection published with Burning Eye Books called This is a Poem, and has been published in several magazines and anthologies.
Caroline and Mairi were introduced to each other by award winning poet Jane Mckie in 2011. They discovered that they share similar interests in mythology and the way biological details and processes (such as birth and hearts) can be combined with their symbolic meaning in both poetry and images.
Mairi had already had the idea for a narrative series of poems and spent six months developing the series further. The narrative draws on ideas from mythologies and fantasy, as well as combining an element of serial killer crime fiction. However the issues within the narrative is the way in which people deal with their own emotions. How people often deny their own emotions, the damage that can do, as well as those who have had their emotions denied them, and the strength and courage it takes people to reclaim their lives.
All the poems were then passed to Caroline who spent a long time working with the challenging text to illustrate each one, drawing out elements of both creative personal interests in the body, birth, and mythology.
Combining elements from this collaboration with more personal ideas from various projects which Caroline has worked on over the last year, the second part of this exhibition is a more light-hearted experiment of how ideas pop up in the mind, can be triggered by conversations, texts and pictures. Every small detail on each small card can be the beginning of a bigger idea, a bigger picture and, literally, the development of a figure that grows a heart, limbs and a life of its own.
The title Heart Seeker refers to the idea that Caroline imagines every detail, every small idea or sketch in this work as a small heart – together all the cards form a bigger and ever growing heart, bursting with ideas.
More about Caroline’s work can be found at www.collagecomposer.com