A young man struggles against a collapsing abstract background, as aggressive symbols taunt him.
A melancholy young woman leans against an abstract background, surrounded by symbols of illness and restriction.
A young woman leans out of an abstract background, wind ruffling her hair, holding a cracked porcelain mask in her hand.

News Media: Scottish Travellers

These pieces were commissioned by The Ferret, for an article covering the prejudices experienced by Scottish Travellers – written by an Academic who is a Scottish Traveller themselves.

The brief was to provide illustrations for three different young Travellers interviewed in the article, to give readers a human character to relate to while preserving the anonymity of the interviewees. I drew from themes within the stories themselves to provide the symbolic imagery, and decided upon a circular motif for the structure of each piece – circles representing wheels and road signs for transport, representing the circuitous and historic routes Travellers have used over the centuries, and representing the bounds that settled Scottish society places on them just because of their culture and their ethnicity.

I chose here not to return to the white porcelain masks of previous commissions, opting instead to invent characters with the physical traits and clothing that might be found in Travellers of the interviewees’ ages – though I did, of course, reference them as a tie-in to one interview’s comments about wishing to remove a mask that settled society presses upon them.