Getaway

Dawson, Beth (2015) Getaway. [Artefact]

Abstract

The output, a graphic story and creative project, narrates a story in response to the 2015 refugee crisis. Research process: As practice research, the comic looks to innovate approaches within the medium by attempting to use creative methods to tell traumatic stories sensitively whilst priming the reader to have an empathetic and personal response. It contributes to a body of contemporary comic work exploring and evolving sequential illustrative practice through unpicking and challenging its stylistic visual language. This piece investigates the aesthetic and tonal use of nostalgia as a means of personalising a narrative. Additionally, the comic actively explores using narrative structures such as misdirection, emotive character design and world building as prompts for the reader to place themselves at the heart of a global as a visual counter to metaphors such as “cockroaches”, “swarm” and “tropes of inundation” were all used in the media at the time. Research insights: The research contributes to knowledge of communicating realistic emotive accounts through illustrated fictionalised stories. Getaway is one of a series of comics by the author to explore the appropriateness of specific aesthetics within a comic to set the mood and tone. The author’s intention is to explore visual styles which create and build words most appropriate for empathising with stories as a counter to notions of ‘othering.’ Dissemination: The output has been published and widely shared online. In 2015, it was shortlisted in the Jonathan Cape/Comica/Observer graphic short story prize and showcased as part of the awards ceremony in the finalists’ exhibition at Orbital comics. The piece was also exhibited at Sunny Bank Mills, Farsley as part of the 2019 ‘Panel Show’ exhibition where Dawson also wrote about the methods and ethical considerations around the comic’s creation for an article in the arts funded publication which documented the exhibition.

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