Opening this weekend, Yarnfest is a celebration of all things story related: a festival of film, theatre, music and literature where the imagination can run wild in a kaleidoscope of narrative fun.
Ahead of the official beginning of Yarnfest, tomorrow the Sideshow exhibition opens at The Social in central London, showcasing drawings from artist Jason Butler, accompanying poems from Will Burns, that celebrate the murky oddities of Victorian show business. Expect bearded women, strongmen, strippers and ‘freaks’. The drawings are quite interesting too.
The start of Yarnfest proper takes place on Saturday, and is kicking off with the wonderful Illustrationarium at The Book Club, East London.
Participants are invited to create their own illustrations using an overhead projector, pens, paper and whatever else they can get their eager, creative mitts on.
On Sunday, the Illustrationarium, run by Cure Studio, will see a story told and illustrated before your very eyes. Authors, storytellers and illustrators including Chris Cleave, Helen Smith, Rachael Rose Ried, Neil McFarland, Carlos Garde-Martin, Elissa Elwick, Harriet Gray, Luke Waller, Anna Spencer and Jessica Allan will be on hand to bring the doodles to life.
Also on Saturday, The Book Club will host the Zine Workshop, which will teach you how to use words, images and illustrations to create your own zine characters.
One of the highlights of Yarnfest is certain to be the Cover Wars evening next Monday at The Queen of Hoxton, East London, where Hanif Kureishi will join Jon Gray of Gray 318 to preside over a bloody battle to create the best cover for his book, the Buddha of Suburbia.
Proving that thinking about paint and thinking about glue is not, as Bowie would have us believe, a ‘jolly boring thing to do’, four illustrators representing illustration networks across London will be fighting to have their work crowned best book cover by the author himself. Kureishi will also be reading excerpts from the book.
Yarnfest runs from 19 – 23 February at The Queen of Hoxton 1-5 Curtain Road, London EC2A and The Book Club 100 Leonard Street, London EC2A