Internationally renowned writer and collage artist Graham Rawle lectures in visual communication at the University of Brighton.
Graham's visual work incorporates illustration, design, photography and installation. His weekly 'Lost Consonants' first appeared in the weekend Guardian in 1990 and ran for 15 years. He has produced other regular series for the press, while his book Woman's World has been celebrated world-wide.
Graham Rawle lectures in visual communication. He is a writer and collage artist whose visual work incorporates illustration, design, photography and installation. His weekly 'Lost Consonants' first appeared in the weekend Guardian in 1990 and ran for 15 years. He has produced other regular series for The Observer, The Sunday Telegraph Magazine and The Times.
Among his published books are The Card, The Wonder Book of Fun, Lying Doggo, and Diary of an Amateur Photographer. His collaged novel Woman's World, created entirely from fragments of found text clipped from vintage women’s magazines won wide critical acclaim, described by The Times as ‘a work of genius…the most wildly original novel produced in this country in the past decade.’ His reinterpretation of The Wizard of Oz won the Best Illustrated Trade Book Award as well as 2009 Book of the Year at the British Book Design Awards. The Card, was shortlisted for the 2013 Writers' Guild Award for fiction.
Rawle's work is exhibited internationally and he regularly gives lectures about his work at both academic and public events. He teaches on the MA Sequential Design/Illustration and MA Arts and Design by Independent Project courses at Brighton. In 2012 he was awarded an honorary doctorate for Services to Design from Norwich University of the Arts where he has recently been appointed as Visiting Professor of Illustration.
His research includes the exploration of inherent as well as constructed narrative form, specifically 3-act structure, as a paradigm that can be employed in the development of design strategies across a wide range of disciplines. His experimental literature uses innovative techniques involving the interplay between text and image as a way to carry a narrative subtext that is neither written nor illustrated, but emerges through the combined reading of both text and image to form a new language.
In a research context, Graham Rawle has developed a new narrative language, both graphic and textual, and combined it with an authorial approach in Woman’s World and The Card, whilst his innovative illustrations of The Wizard of Oz constituted a reimagining of a familiar text.
Graham has continued to ask the question: how can narrative be developed in the space in between visual communication and textual narrative? He has established himself as a ground-breaking research-led writer, illustrator and designer and this is evidenced through the range and depth of key scholarly texts that cite and analyse his work (including Sadokierski, 2006; Gibbons 2010; Wolf, 2011; Bray, Gibbons, McHale, 2012) and through coverage in surveys of graphic design (including Poyner, 2003; Heller, 2005; Zeegan, 2013; Kick, 2013).
Graham Rawle’s research processes and techniques involve phases of searching, collecting, content analysis, narrative development and composing of the final story. In Woman’s World (2005), and The Card (2012), Graham Rawle shows his creative vision through the defamiliarising of the conventional understanding of ‘graphic novel’ or ‘detective novel’ genres, and draws on traditions of collage and the cut-up narrative. In The Wizard of Oz (2008), further modes of creativity were referenced with the construction of miniature cinematically composed and lit ‘sets’ featuring the novel’s characters to depict key moments. Rawle consciously used the notion of ‘casting’ in selecting surreal and sometimes disturbing objects for these photographs, as part of the reinterpretation of F. L. Baum’s narrative. Professor in Illustration.
A full-length, collaged novel created from fragments of found text cut from women’s magazines from the early 1960s.
A novel illustrated with a series of 'found' illustrated picture cards and a set of coded graphic symbols in the text margins.
A novel written in the form of a journal using collaged paper scraps, ephemera and constructed 1950s glamour photographs.
Rawle, Graham (2014) Textures: an exhibition of text, texture and structures in artists' books [Exhibition]
Rawle, Graham (2013) Photographic ‘artistry’ in 1950s men’s magazines. In: Reconsidering amateur photography, University of Brighton Symposium, 21 September 2012.
Rawle, Graham (2012) The Card Atlantic Books, London, UK. ISBN 978085789124 2
Rawle, Graham (2012) Art Workers Guild lecture In: Writing with Scissors, 26 April 2012, London, UK. (Unpublished)
Rawle, Graham (2012) Peepshow Collective In: Peepshow Collective. Index Books, p. 4. ISBN 9788415308126
Rawle, Graham (2011) Inspirations YCN website.
Lupton, E., Blauvelt, A., Leslie, J., Albinson, I., Vit, A. and Rawle, Graham (2011) Graphic Design: Now in Production [Exhibition]
Rawle, Graham (2011) Message 43 symposium 2011 In: Message 43 symposium 2011, 5 April 2011, University of Plymouth, UK.
Rawle, Graham (2010) Uncanny: surrealism and graphic design [Exhibition]
Rawle, Graham (2009) The Wizard of Oz according to Graham Rawle [Exhibition]
Rawle, Graham (2009) Bright Ideas The Times Newspapers Limited, London, UK.
Rawle, Graham (2009) Oz in Shinsegae [Exhibition]
Rawle, Graham (2009) A Postcard Home - a collage workshop In: A Postcard Home - Friday Late, Home Sweet Home, 27 February 2009, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK.
Graham, Rawle (2008) The international Wizard of Oz convention 2010 – Oz: The Books In: International Wizard of Oz Club Convention - The Books, 14-16 May 2010, Arne Nixon Center, Fresno, California, USA.
Rawle, Graham and Baum, L. Frank (2008) The Wizard of Oz Atlantic, London. ISBN 9781843546597
Rawle, Graham (2008) 40,000 not-very-easy pieces - dissecting a page from Woman's World New York Magazine, 41 (11). pp. 63-64. ISSN 0028-7369
Rawle, Graham (2007) Reason under a ruined hat In: A humument: a treated victorian novel. National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland, pp. 13-16.
Rawle, Graham (2005) Woman's World Atlantic Books. ISBN 1-84354-368-0
Rawle, Graham (2000) EXPO 2000 - Hi-Life, (Basic Needs) [Exhibition]
Rawle, Graham (1990) Lost consonants Guardian News and Media Limited, The Guardian Weekend.
"The most wildly original novel produced in this country in the past decade. . . Like all great artists, Rawle has used the constraints of this exercise as a fiercely enabling liberation. . . This book is a work of genius."
(Neel Mukherjee, The Times, 2006)
"A breathtaking - and breathtakingly idiosyncratic - work."
(The Observer, 2006)
"A brilliant invention, allowing full lyrical use of the available material, which Rawle gathers and pleats into rhapsodic riffs of garment ecstasy. . . A tale that moves with the pace of a thriller, with as many cliffhanging chapter endings and swerves of story. Woman's World may prove metafiction's first bestseller."
(Tom Phillips, The Guardian, 2005)
"What begins as an exquisitely wayward work of art and outright comic masterpiece transforms into a galloping plot of serious literary intent. Woman's World is charming, chilling, sinister, surreal and utterly unforgettable."
(Samantha Boyce, Scotsman, 2005)
"The novel's powerful, twisting plot offers a serious interrogation of the sexual stereotypes that can exert such a perverse influence over the vulnerable. What emerges is a tender love story in which an apparently happy ending also contains dark elements of unfinished business. The narrative, it turns out, is as peculiar as the presentation."
(Daily Telegraph, 2006)
"Compellingly eccentric… a clever hybrid of cultural critique and domestic farce."
(Time Out, New York 2008)
"Five years in the making, Rawle's book is both a work of art and an astonishingly moving, funny novel. This is an ingenious, wonderful book."
(Scotland on Sunday, 2005)
"Rawle's narrative grips as a reading experience from start to finish. His appropriation of the found material is so seamless and artful that words by an unnamed army of women's magazine writers read as his own. Rawle transforms the linguistic clichs peddled by these magazines into something fresh, subtly subversive and often laugh-out-loud funny. . .This novel's triumph is that it works on every level."
(Rick Poynor, Eye Magazine 2005)
"Brilliant… It’s garish and funny, a tour de force."
(Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, Minneapolis Star and Tribune, 2009)
"Woman's World sparkles with linguistic mischief while detailing a moving and psychologically acute story."
(Claire Alfree , Metro, 2005)
"Entirely mesmerizing…The effect is hilarious, then ominous, and ultimately very dark. . .There is much more to be said about the crazy brilliance of this novel. I'm tempted to place it in the genealogy of great 18th century comedies such as 'Tom Jones' or 'Tristram Shandy'."
(Bethany Schneider, Newsday 2008)
"Wildly clever and painstakingly crafted...It is Rawle’s ability to shape endearing, troubled characters who wring a heartfelt response that makes this novel so compelling."
(Chronicle Herald, Canada 2009)
"Fresh and inventive. . .Woman’s World is an absorbing, unsettling story that uses the niceties of found material to spell out darker themes. It’s an amazing mash-up, a beautifully bizarre accomplishment that might inspire copycats if it didn’t require such staggering discipline to pull off."
(Erin Loeb, BOOKSLUT, 2008)
"As an art project, Woman's World is an astonishing feat. As a work of experimental text, it is pure quirky goodness. As commentary on woman's magazines and pre-feminism 1960s, it brims with colourful irony."
(Globe and Mail, Canada 2009)
"A page-turning thriller that’s utterly original yet retains the sensibility of its source material. Even without Rawle’s amazing facsimile presentation, Woman’s World stands on its own as a delightfully dark suspense novel about a family with a horrible secret."
(Very Short List, 2008)
"If genius and madness go hand in hand, this text is the proof. . . the genius is that this isn't a mere novelty, but a perfect marriage of form and function. Genius."
(Gay Times 2005)