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Illustration, Culture, Society Spring 2014
“The illustrations not only mirror but also extend and develop the ideas in the text and provide a different viewpoint,” says Sarah Browne, Editor of Therapy Today, talking to Varoom about the value of illustration in her magazine. It’s illustrator’s empathy for the text – not repeating it, not simply echoing it, but discovering something different. Sociologist Richard Sennett points out we sometimes confuse sympathy with empathy – empathy is not an embrace it’s an ‘encounter’. Empathy is a hot-button idea, the key it seems to business, design, even evolution. Issue 25 of Varoom explores the rich ways in which illustrators extend the idea of empathy itself. And as ever, Paul Davis takes the idea into uncharted territories, “If this New Empathy fails, will 2014 be re-membered for The Empathy Riots?”
Varoom 25 also includes Adrian Holme’s commentary on Phoebe Gloeckner’s dramatic imagery for JG Ballard’s The Atrocity Exhibition, three illustration agents from Handsome Frank, The Jacky Winter Group and The Artworks on the illustrator-client relationship, and with the launch of two graphic news magazines, Symbolia and La Revue Dessinée, Jane Stanton explores how illustration can help us understand news in a world of blanket media coverage.
In Material Matters Varoom asks John Vernon Lord, Roderick Mills, Sheena Calvert and Tim Milne to explore different aspects of materiality. Illustrators understand that materials matter, they are part of the expression of a work whether they’re the tools used in image-making, the materials used in the execution or the space in which the illustration sits.