Second year BA(Hons) Drawing tutor Charlie Duck has released FULL GAS, a selection of 220 works produced in Berlin and London between Autumn 2018 and Summer 2020.
The book, which was designed by Course leader for MA Illustration: Authorial Practice, Hugh Frost, features over 200 images and is the result of two years’ work. Within the book, readers can expect to find examples of oil paint, watercolour, printing ink, pencil, pastel, charcoal and felt tip on paper.
Charlie has exhibited at a number of public institutions, but seeing his work collated into a book holds exciting new artistic connotations. As Charlie explains, “an exhibition is up for maybe a week or a month, and then it’s gone and the documentation is never the same as the experience of being in that space. But the design of the book is always how it’ll be presented, and it’s a time capsule of the work… the book is something that you can revisit; it feels a more temporal medium.”
Charlie collaborated closely with Hugh on the book’s design, carefully thinking through presentation of the images. “The design, in my mind, is just as much a part of the work. A book is tactile, it’s something to physically engage with,” says Charlie. “We decided that the pages didn’t need to be centred, or adhere to the quite rigid grid structures that you think of when it comes to more traditional book design.”
Instead, images spill out onto overlapping pages. The works carve out their own path as they charge ahead unconstrained by the page’s borders. Rather than encourage readers to pause for breath, the images accelerate forwards – the title, which is an often-used phrase in cycling commentary, speaks to working flat out.
Charlie and Hugh also made creative choices when it came to how the book was organised. Rather than dividing the book into chapters, the images are categorised by the four seasons. As Charlie explains, “it felt like a gentle way to structure the book without being too rigid – and then you also get a feel for the thematics that develop over a more nebulous period of time rather than month by month or week by week.”
As his first published book, FULL GAS marks an exciting point in Charlie’s career. The book will launch alongside an exhibition of selected works in London later this year.