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New Illustrations for FitzGerald’s Rubaiyat

January 14, 2022

New illustrations interpreting FitzGerald’s Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam will shortly be on show in Brighton on the south coast of England. The artist, Lois Pawson, has sent us the following details of the Exhibition and her work in it.

PRESS RELEASE Rubaiyat Illustrations at Emotive Collective Exhibition. 8th to 13th February 2022, The Regency Town House, Brighton & Hove.

Lois A Pawson is an illustrator and designer, currently a postgraduate illustration student at University of Brighton, with the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam as the focus for her MA degree project.  A selection of illustrations from her project ‘Fate and Fatalism’ will be shown as part of the Emotive Collective Exhibition in Sussex this February. 

“That ev’n my buried Ashes such a Snare
Of Perfume shall fling up into the Air”
Bearded Vulture – Silent Towers – Desert Garden

Lois’ project ‘Fate and Fatalism’ is a revisualisation of poetry attributed to ‘astronomer poet of Persia’ Omar Khayyam (1048 -1131), from the 1859 English translation by Edward FitzGerald.  These four-line Rubaiyat poems reflect on universal aspects of human existence – life, death and facing one’s fate.  At their emotive core runs the humanistic message to seize the day and enjoy life – because life can be all too short.  Readers can interpret these poems in different ways, and this project is a work of personal expression, underpinned by expansive research and participation in international symposiums, over thirty virtual guided tours of Iran, and ‘method illustration’ experiments with ancient Persian crafts.

The Emotive Collective is a group of 13 artists and designers, some recent University of Brighton MA graduates, others, current students, who have allowed their individual journeys to lead them to unpredictable discoveries and the exhibition has many themes, but they are all connected by the urge to provoke conversation about emotive topics. The process/act of exploring individual themes has led each artist to experiment with a range of media and contexts, each searching for a way to ask meaningful questions and hopefully, to answer them. In doing so, the artists hope to open dialogue on universal issues and bring this into the public realm.

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Lois adds that she will have another show in July, showing the completed project at University of Brighton. There will also be a book presenting her final artwork. We look forward to seeing the completion of her illustrations.


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