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A Place Called Utopia

University Project, 2021

My illustrated book ‘A Place called Utopia’ tells the tale of a journey from urban life to utopian life, accompanied by lines of my poetry. Inside this story I wanted to convey the themes of magic, awe, adventure and self-sufficiency. As my audience was an off-gridder, I decided I would base this project on my brother Rufus and his partner Hannah who travel around in a campervan. They go on lots of trips in the dark and wake up in beautiful rural destinations. My idea of Utopia was similar to that of theirs - ‘Somewhere in the depths of nature, untouched by human interference. Wildlife is left to its own device and humans live to support nature, rather than to take from it.’ At the start of this project I decided that the journey was as important as the destination for an off-gridder. Throughout my illustrations I use orange and stars as symbols of hope. My cut out stencils transform from man-made jagged shapes, map routes, the structure of a leaf and to calming water shapes. They signify further the power and changes within the journey. The final image of the story displays a silhouette of my brother admiring Utopia. It illustrates the love and connection an off-gridder would feel with their environment. They are grateful they made the journey happen and this is their reward; complete and utter satisfaction with Utopia’s beauty. 

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