Paddy Hartley and King’s College London
Dr Ian Thompson, King’s College London
WW1-100: Novel Networks
Tying in with the WW1 centenary period, 2014-2018, artist Paddy Hartley paired with Dr Ian Thompson of King’s College London. Interested in the history of Sir Harold Gillies, an extraordinary surgeon who pioneered many facial construction techniques, the residency set out to achieve two goals, firstly it would establish networks and secondly it would carry out a feasibility study. Both in aid of Hartley’s objective to create a dynamic, episodic, interactive iPad graphic novel that would tell the stories of WW1 veterans treated by Gillies.
The residency was successful in creating a community, interested participants included facial surgeons, military historians, coders, sound designers and animators. The network extended across universities and medical institutions such as U.A.L., King’s College London, Gray’s and St Thomas Hospital, the Royal College of Surgeons England, and the Royal College of Surgeons and Physicians Scotland. However, one issue proved difficult to overcome. Despite distributing a call for participants through multiple channels the residency didn’t succeed in enlisting a solid core of graphic novelists.
This issue has pulled into question the overall feasibility of the project. Unfortunately the projects hope for shared collaborative creation may not work out, adopting a route of directly commissioning illustrators may now prove more realistic. Despite the setbacks Paddy intends to continue working on the collaboration, sourcing extra funding and trying to establishing the project’s commercial viability.
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