Deerfield – Illustration – Narrative
My 2D work is about place and the experience of liminal spaces. In this application for the Eyebeam Residency, I have spoken about several large ideas and themes that are digital, device, and fabrication focused. However, I want to pivot away from technology to share a 2D project as my Work Sample #1.
This is an illustration, nonfiction project exploring an event in early American history, focused on a young child experiencing enormous trauma, who discarded her birth culture and national identity for another. This story and this project are relevant to the creative and complex work possible at Eyebeam and are prescient to today’s political climate. I want to create an interactive, experiential, and digital version of this story, loosely titled as, “War Daughter, the Eunice Williams Story.”
My aim for this project is to visualize an event in American history on two scales: the individual, the experiences of the Williams family, and the national, Eunice Williams’ choices relative to her heritage and the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Now more than ever, Americans are answering complicated questions of identity, culture, and community, and it is essential to navigate this time and steer our society and government and create the country we want to build. The stories of individual lives are what matter and what construct communal social history. I feel historical events are portrayed in deeply uninteresting ways, such as in unapproachable academic tomes so the events appear atomically irrelevant to contemporary lives, culture, political realities. I think this is an injustice to the events and to historical fact and I would like to interject change.
Ultimately, illustrating this work has been an attempt to construct a narrative of past American history with the current cultural and national narrative many Americans and American politicians are struggling to establish. I feel that illustrating this project is a means to relate, communicate, explain the Eunice Williams’ choices to remain with her Native, Canadian captors, and the larger implications regarding her choice within the rise of colonial identity, leading to the American Revolution, and the establishment of modern notions of nationalism and American identity.
- Series of sketches made at Gullkistan Residency, Feb 2017. Various depictions of important characters in this narrative, as well as landscape, architecture, personal property.
- In what ways could this project go beyond a published, nonfiction, graphic novel?
Related Deerfield Posts & Research
Eyebeam Application Links