Student Creative: Judith Allen

11 December 2019

I was incredibly excited to be given the opportunity to be a student creative for MoDiP this year. 
When it came to choosing where to do my MA in illustration, MoDiP was one of the main assets that drew me to studying at AUB. Having a museum with a rich history of design and an extensive collection of fascinating objects right on campus, is an incredible bonus for any arts student. It’s like having your own cabinet of curiosities, full of inspiration! 
Coming from a background in social anthropology, I’m particularly interested in how objects have meaning to us, the history and stories behind seemingly ordinary everyday objects, and why we collect the objects we do. 
Figure 1 Initial sketches from MoDiP at the beginning of term
Working with MoDiP has provided me with a wonderful opportunity to explore this further through my creative practice, whilst also learning how the development of plastics technology and attitudes to plastics over time has helped to shape the design of different objects over the last century. 
My original idea was to explore the stories behind certain objects within the museum by making small polymer clay models of the objects, and placing them in shadow boxes, that had paper cut illustrations showing the story of the object behind them.

Figure 2 Initial experiments with paper cutting and shadow art

However after a little more research into building shadow boxes and several failed polymer clay experiments, I decided to take a more illustrative approach to my project. My new idea is to create an interactive picture book with pop up and lift the flap elements, exploring the last 100 years of history through objects within the museum in a fun and tactile illustrative way that all ages can enjoy!

Figure 3 Sketches Through the Centuries- 1920's objects

Figure 4 Ink and pencil sketches of early objects in the museum
This is going to be an exciting experiment that involves me relying on my key skills of observational drawing and painting, whilst also drawing on new skills of book binding and paper craft. I’m excited to bring this project to life and to illustrate the stories behind the fascinating objects MoDiP holds.
Student Creative Judith Allen - MA Illustration