An alumni who studied Fine Art at the University of Bedfordshire has made the final longlist in a national illustration competition.
The annual People’s Choice Award from House of Illustration and The Folio Society called for professional and aspiring artists to submit imagery to accompany three love poems pre-chosen by one of the judges, Imtiaz Dharker – poet and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. The judging panel then chose 25 longlist finalists for the public vote.
Ewa Wiktoria Malec, who graduated with a 2:1 in 2010, entered the competition with a varied selection of illustrations inspired by the poetic words of Imtiaz Dharker’s The Trick, The Good-Morrow by John Donne and Emily Dickinson’s Wild Nights – Wild Nights!
In a wasted time, it’s only when I sleep
that all my senses come awake. In the wake
of you, let day not break. Let me keep
the scent, the weight, the bright of you, take
the countless hours and count them all night through
till that time comes when you come to the door
of dreams, carrying oranges that cast a glow
up into your face. Greedy for more
than the gift of seeing you, I lean in to taste
the colour, kiss it off your offered mouth.
For this, for this, I fall asleep in haste,
willing to fall for the trick that tells the truth
that even your shade makes darkest absence bright,
that shadows live wherever there is light.
I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved? Were we not weaned till then?
But sucked on country pleasures, childishly?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’ den?
’Twas so; but this, all pleasures fancies be.
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, ’twas but a dream of thee.
And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear;
For love, all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,
Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown,
Let us possess one world, each hath one, and is one.
My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest;
Where can we find two better hemispheres,
Without sharp north, without declining west?
Whatever dies, was not mixed equally;
If our two loves be one, or, thou and I
Love so alike, that none do slacken, none can die.
Wild nights – Wild nights!
Were I with thee
Wild nights should be
Futile – the winds –
To a Heart in port –
Done with the Compass –
Done with the Chart!
Rowing in Eden –
Ah – the Sea!
Might I but moor – tonight –
It’s brilliant to learn of our graduates’ achievements after they’ve progressed to the next stage of their learning and careers. Opportunities like this national illustration competition are great ways for our students to showcase their talent. I encourage other creative institutions to follow suit and offer up a platform from which the next generation of creators and artists will flourish.
After Bedfordshire, Ewa went on to study Curation at the Academy of Arts in Wroclaw, Poland, and she now lives and works in London. Ewa said:
Illustration is an adventure and a source of great fun for me. I cannot imagine my life without it!
Public voting is still open and the online gallery of all entries can be found here: https://bicpeopleschoice.org/book-illustration-competition-2020/
The overall winner and runners-up will be announced at an evening presentation later this month.
With the University of Bedfordshire’s autumn term kicking off this week, students will be experiencing a new way of living and learning in a post-Covid19 world.
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