If you’re at college, finding your groove, the realisation hits that illustration, like so many other creative endeavors, is dictated by fashion, fad and the media’s ever-changing flavour-of-the-month attitude.
For a group of MA students on the Communication Art and Design course at London’s Royal College of Art, where the thinking was ‘narrative illustration is king’, the obvious answer was to start their own curated magazine. Back in 2003, and without waiting to graduate, that’s exactly what they did. ‘We felt there were no publishers in the UK that would be interested in putting out our work. In Europe, this kind of narrative illustration is more widely available and there are small companies producing similar publications’, explains Chris Bianchi of the Le Gun editorial team.
Contributions are currently rolling in for issue three from far and wide – the aim of the editors being to mix new blood with big names (Peter Blake and Alan Kitching have featured). Printed on recycled, uncoated stock, with a generous page size, the black and white pages, in particular, have that ‘rip it out and put it on the wall’ impact that shouts collectable. Indeed, an artist-led initiative that is both inclusive and selective is a rare thing indeed.
With the next issue out in July and an installation about to inhabit London’s achingly hip Nog Gallery, Le Gun is firing on all cylinders.
International Festival Le Gun runs from 13 to 31 May at the Nog Gallery, 182 Brick Lane, London, E1. Tel: 0207 739 4134