Harry West Illustration

A blog for my ongoing projects at LCC

Another visit

Robert Hunter

I have loved the work of Robert Hunter for a while now but I realised his work ‘The New Ghost’ has imagery that I find useful. I may want to feature ghostly figures in my own images but I don’t necessarily want to stick to a cliche way of doing. Hunter’s work provides simple but beautifully atmospheric imagery, the use of colour and light is great but the images of ghosts are what I’m really interested in, they are simple and pretty but he can make them quite sinister. I also simply like the fact that it’s perhaps a more respectful representation of a ghost, seeing as if I portray any in a graveyard they are technically a representation of actual people, I just wanna be as tasteful as possible.


Highgate second visit


Arthur Rackham was known for
his fantastical illustrations,
something which seemed to fit
in with both my study of natural
forms and also the slight
move into english mythology,
Rackhams own interest in this
being very useful to study.                    

It felt useful to focus on an artist, particulalrly an english one who was a bit older and a bit more traditional, so as to suit the tone of Highgate itself. It’s not necessarily my style but was useful, the fantastical and natural elements were something I was looking at myself. Much of the illustrations show tangled and petrified looking trees, pretty deathy looking landscapes but often look oddly pleasant or comforting at the same time, something I felt very relevant to the actual cemetery.




Highgate vampire

I don’t want to give this story much attention, I find it too silly and sensationalist for what I’m going for but I thought I’d link key websites as they’re are pretty fascinating in a surreal sort of way. But basically two nut job exorcists both purported there to be a vampire or demon in the cemetery after a few public sightings but were bitter rivals…all very silly, they should make a movie out of it.

David Farrant’s sites includes a confusing and dubious third person FAQ..very strange


These are picture from my first visit to Highgate. It was bloody cold. I tried taking as many pictures as possible so that I have stuff to work from; repeat visits may become an issue as it costs money and the weather isn’t the most forgiving for drawing in-situ. Regardless of this I really loved the site, the overgrowth and structures are sublimely beautiful and the place has such a reverant and sacred feeling, there is something odd about something macabre being so alluring. I will have to make some more visits though.

Highgate Visit


Highgate Cemetery opened in 1839. It was run by a private company. But when in the 1970s they found it was no longer profitable to run commercially, nature took over and vandals had their day…

The Friends

Founded in 1975, the Friends rescued the cemetery and have battled ever since to reverse the damage.


Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust is run by volunteers, supported by paid staff and countless volunteers who do everything from guiding tours to helping maintain the landscape.


The Friends have three aims:to preserve Highgate Cemetery as a place of historic and other interest and beauty; to permit the Cemetery to be used as a public burial ground; and to secure the repair, restoration and preservation of the Cemetery for the public benefit.

Before visiting the cemetery I went on to the website and found the cemetery to still be a very active site; split into two sides I’m going to try to visit both…the cheaper side first though, the place costs £4 on one side and £12 for the other, I may have to work from photographs as a result of this

The Grant Museum

The first site I have decided to visit is the Grant museum, along with the highgate cemetery it seems like the most interesting site for me. I find this as the site itself, the environment of both these places has a presence and a history separate of any people there, there is something intrinsically interesting about them. Both are a bit creepy on the surface but I feel that could make for some very fascinating imagery as long as its approached the right way, I don’t want to get too morbid with anything.

Abecederia by Blexbolex

Just thought this comic was worth a quick mention. In terms of narrative and procedure it isn’t necessarily very relevant but I feel that the way it was put together, i.e its actually physical form was interesting. It really comes down to how the cover of this narrative works.

Image result for blexbolex abecederia

The actual comic fits into the the sleeve of the cover, which acts as a sort of container. This allows a simple flexibility and increased interaction with a reader, it just makes it appealing, that small piece of potential deconstruction slightly abstracts what we know as book form and induces a subtle playfulness.

Image result for blexbolex abecederiaIt also means the cover becomes a slightly separate piece of work that can further showcase the work inside as well as allowing for a wider variety of display potential.

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