In the Realm of the Poet

Work continues on my collaboration with poet Olivia McCannon on a new retelling of Beauty and the Beast, to be published by Design for Today. Working with Olivia is a revelation. Ideas bat back and forward between us in e-mails, and I find the conversations to be revelatory. We both make discoveries through the processes of discussion, exploring connections and explaining new ideas to each other, and I find that the e-mails and all the ideas they contain are as equal a source of the images I’m making as her evolving text. Recently Olivia wrote to me that she believed there was a rich seam to be considered in regard to Cocteau’s casting of the role of the Goddess Diana in the 1946 film, and that’s opened a whole treasury of possibilities about the living statues, which we’ve adopted for our own version of the story, and how their origins might be explored.

In another e-mail she wrote thrillingly of her imagined source of the jewels the Beast bestows on Beauty, and afterwards I could barely sleep for a week with excitement in anticipation of the images that were evolving in my head out of her ideas.

Above: detail of an illustration in progress: the Beast carries the unconscious Beauty to her bedchamber.

At this stage I can explain no more. While I enjoy sharing the creative processes of making images, in this instance I don’t want to offer them before they’ve been realised and the book published. Suffice to say that this is going to be a version of Beauty and the Beast like no other.

7 thoughts on “In the Realm of the Poet

  1. Thank the gods for your return here, at the Artlog, Dear Clive.
    I was worried, not seeing you in such a long time. And I dared not ask. I see now, this absence of yours was all for the good. And I can’t wait for more news, and, of course, for the book.
    Love from Madrid

    • Dear Maria, I had the same fear because you had left no messages here. Peter and I are SO relieved to know you are well, and our apologies that you were concerned for us. I send my love and I shall write an email for a proper catch-up. XXX

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