23 July 2017


A Good Muslim is the fourth chapter from my graphic novel, Mongrel.


In the first chapter, the readers are introduced to the protagonist, Shona on her wedding day. We immediately sense that things are not as they should be. She cannot ignore the anger and disproval looming over her. Her mother, Amma, declared that she would never forgive her and forbade her father, Abba, from being present.

In chapter two, we leave the tense scene, and are taken through snap shots of Shona's memories in Bangladesh. The narrative is communicated through a poem followed by illustrations reiterating those poignant memories. 

We are then introduced to Shona's childhood home in England, focusing on the strong presence of Islam and Bengali culture within the home. 

The fourth chapter is presented above. 

In chapter five, we arrive in the present at an urban scene, which contrasts greatly to the previous atmosphere. The illustrations are censored: a character has been visibly erased from the illustration because Shona is not ready to reveal who it is. Shona talks to the reader about the beliefs from her childhood that are still very present to her. She focuses on the eternal fire, it posses her subconscious. At the end of this chapter, David, Shona's future husband is introduced to the readers. 

Shona tells the story of her parents engagement; an arranged marriage in Bangladesh. Followed by her mother's immigration to England and the difficulties she faced with leaving her homeland behind. Shona then tells the story of her own engagement, which bears no similarities to her parents. 

We return to Shona's childhood home. Shona explains Amma's plans for her children's future. There is a family day out and this is a rare occasion within this household because of Abba being overworked. This is a joyful scene showing that they are just like every other family in the suburban town. When Shona returns to prayer lessons and boasts about her family's day out, she is careful not to let it slip that Amma participates in archery. 

At Shona's graduation we see the effect of keeping such a huge secret is having on her. She explains the difficulties she had as a teenager in her family home and how things changed when she moved to university. She was under such strict control, which eventually caused her to erupt.

In chapter nine, we learn about her brothers disownment. His secret relationship with a non-Muslim girl was exposed, which lead to his dismissal from the family. Shona tells her parents about her engagement. 

In chapter 10, tension between Shona and her mother is ignored. Rather than discussing this Shona talks about her mothers struggle to integrate and the racism she faced. 

The silence is broken and a meeting is arranged. Shona's devotion to her family and faith is questioned. No one can come to an agreement so the meeting ends on a bad note. 

Shona introduces her cousin Ruhi to the story. Ruhi is a traditional girl who has never left Bangladesh. Shona compares their lives. Shona refuses to tell Ruhi what is happening but Ruhi claims to have discovered Shona's secret from a ritual to tell fortunes. 

There is a family tragedy. For the first time since her brothers disownment, the whole family is united. However, when the shock disappears the anger resurfaces. 

We return to the start of the story and Shona walks down the isle. 

Peeling a Coconut with a Boti

A Way Home

A light-hearted, short story about a women's journey immigrating from Bangladesh to England.

11 May 2017

Imagined Worlds - Kubla Khan

My drawing, Longing for Wonder, was displayed in the Imagined Worlds - Kubla Khan exhibition. 

Longing for Wonder is similar to Kubla Khan in two ways. The first is the narrative within the drawing. A girl is confined in her room, so she sits on her bed and peeps through the curtains. She observes. Presented with the ordinary, she imagines what is beyond the visible. What hides behind the rows of houses and the tiny stretch of horizon? She has yet to explore the world so her imagination is not limited by knowledge. She imagines a better world. Inside her mind she finds her only escape from her reality. The viewer interrupts her vivid daydream. She turns to acknowledge them.

The second link is the context within which the drawing was created.
Similar to the poem, Kubla Khan, my drawing, Longing for Wonder, originated with a real person and a real place. It was once a reality, but now it exists only in my mind. The oversized furniture and the warped perspective suggest that my imagination has distorted it. This is now my creation.

09 September 2016

Sophronia Exhibition

The exhibition, Sophronia, presented the works of MA Authorial Illustration students at Falmouth university. I exhibited the graphic novel Mongrel, which I wrote on the course.

I was awarded the Atlantic Press Graphic Literature Prize, for the work I created in Mongrel

On one side of the wall I created a collage from the inner pages in Mongrel.
I did not want the illustrations to be displayed as flat images, so created books to be used in the collage. Some books were nailed open, some had flapping pages and some were nailed shut. The closed books represented hesitancy towards sharing personal narrative.

On the other side of the wall, I presented a framed original and two versions of the book. One version contained the three chapters I had managed to finalise on the course and the other version, the manuscript, contained the whole story at different stages. 

02 January 2016

Mongrel - Memories of Waterland

For every chapter I start by creating basic thumbnail drawings for every page. This helps me plan the pacing of the story as I decide how many panels will be on each page and what they will communicate. For Memories of Waterland I wanted to shape the panels  so they look like puddles. 

This chapter was slightly difficult because I couldn't figure out if I wanted the words to be kept separate from the imagery, so I created a draft with both options to help me judge. 

I decided it was best to display the poem on the first page and have a sequence of images following it.

02 November 2015

The Collaborators Exhibition

This drawing was exhibited at The Collaborators exhibition at The Exchange Gallery, Penzance.

03 August 2015

The Story Republic

I created a number of illustrations to accompany poems created by The Story Republic. The drawing were projected whilst the young writers read their poems at an event the The Exchange, Penzance.

Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange

On this postgraduate placement I created a booklet based on the two exhibitions, Artist Rooms: Robert Therrien and In Search of the Miraculous. As well as researching both exhibitions, I wrote, designed and illustrated the booklet. I created questions to help viewers engage with the artwork and designed creative tasks for visitors to take part in during their visit.

23 July 2015

Think & Do Booklet

On the placement with Newlyn Art Gallery I am making a gallery guide for young people aged between 13-25 years. 

At the start of the project I had the idea to create a guide that felt like an artist scrap book. A mock-up of this idea can be viewed below. I felt this idea was appropriate as the aims of this guide was to help viewers engage with the art on display, to encourage curiosity and make the gallery space less intimidating to those unfamiliar with it. I believe the warmth looseness of a scrap book design like this would encourage creative thinking. However because of the very quick turnover I had for this project, it was not possible to do this. Instead I had to opt for the quickest medium to work with which is digital media. 


Although I could not go ahead with the idea I was set on, I am pleased with the result using digital media because it has created a simple, bold look and lets the illustrations capture the focal point. The colour scheme in the font reflect the colour scheme used in the galleries branding.