The Function of Folk Symposium Programme

The Function of Folk Symposium Programme

The Third International Illustration Research Event, Exhibition and Symposium
November 8th and 9th 2012, Poland



8th and 9th November 2012
Ethnographic Museum, Krakow, Poland

The Third ‘Illustration Research’ Symposium explores the idea of the illustrator as contemporary ‘folk’ artist, and asks what function the illustrator has within communities – local and global. Sessions are themed around key ideas, and cover ground such as the visual language and iconography of folk motifs on clothing, the cultural impact of ‘folk art’ in shaping national identity, the collaboration between publisher and folk artists in India, the engagement of illustrators with the public to create powerful personal narratives, the idea of folk icons, relational and pragmatic methods of creating illustration, the illustration of urban myths, and the exploration of cultural identities through narrative illustration. The diversity of illustration practice today is represented – from traditional techniques of paper cutting, drawing and printmaking to puppetry and performance alongside work created for digital platforms.

With an impressively international line up of speakers and an exhibition of contemporary illustration inspired by the theme of the conference, this event is hosted by the Ethnographic Museum in Krakow. We are delighted to be holding the event in such an evocative venue – the two beautifully restored historic buildings that house Krakow’s wonderful collection of ethnographic art.

The event should be of interest to practitioners, academics, students of illustration, history, ethnography and cultural studies.

Booking Information:

The symposium costs £120 to register for both days, which includes lunch and refreshments. There is a special student rate of £30 for the two days. Polish residents are also offered the special rate.

Click here to book a place at the symposium via the Manchester Metropolitan University online store.


(please note this may be subject to change)

09.00 – 10.00 Registration/ Coffee
10.00 – 11.00 Welcome from IR including a presentation by Ewalina Lasota, Ethnographic Museum Krakow
11.00 – 12.30 (3 x presentations + Q+A)

Session 1 : LANGUAGE

  • Joanna Quental (Portugal) Searching for a common identity: the folk interpreted through illustration.
  • Peter Lloyd (UK) The adornment of folk clothing and its applications
  • Jim Walker (UK) The Vernacular Line: Adoption and Transposition of the Kitsch in Illustration

12.30 – 13.30 Lunch
13.30 – 15.00 (3 x presentations + Q+A)

Session2 : RHETORIC

  • Jaleen Grove (Canada) Moose, Maples, Mounties and Other Myths By Canadian Illustrators
  • Chris Campe (Germany) Queer as Folk
  • Alexa Galea (UK) Fear of Folk: Why Folk Art and Ritual Horrifies

15.00 – 16.30 (3 x presentations + Q+A)


  • Dr Melanie Miller and Dr Tongyu Zhou Scissors,(UK/China) Paper, Poetry: The Relationship between traditional Folk art and Contemporary Art Practice
  • Rathna Ramanathan (UK) Collaboration between folk artist and designer within the form of the book
  • Vasvi Oza (India) Commodification of Folk Art in India

16.30 – 17.00 Refreshments
17.00 – 18.00 Keynote Speaker: Andrzej Klimowski
18.00 – 19.00 Exhibition Opening: Wine reception

9.30 – 11.00 (3 x presentations + Q+A)


  • Luise Vormittag (UK) Illustration as Interactive, collaborative practice
  • Bruce Ingman (UK) Ian Dury
  • Amelia Johnstone (UK) Illustration off the Page

11.00 – 13.00 (4 x presentations + Q+A)

Session 5 : PROCESS

  • Jonny Hannah (UK) A trail of breadcrumbs…
  • Stephen Fowler (UK) Wild Man
  • Pamela Smy (UK) From imagination to observation and back again: using sketchbooks to search for the Green Man
  • Dr. Sheena Calvert (UK) Collaboratively-produced posters, printed letterpress, using the ‘ephemeral’ imagery of early and mid-20th century printing cuts as a departure point.

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 15.30 (3 x presentations + Q+A)

Session 6 : PLACE

  • Desdemona McCannon (UK) Arne’s Progress: A Contemporary Broadside
  • Mireille Fauchon (UK) The Priory Tunnels
  • Ania Machwic (Poland) Silesia

15.30 – 16.00 Gallery talks (Lotte Crawford, Irlo Svala, Alice Patullo) with tea and coffee
16.00 – 17.00 Amelia Johnstone: Puppet Performance
17.00 CLOSING REMARKS /Information about Journal Publication and future events

Click here to book online.