Poets’ work transformed into comic book illustrations after winning competition

PUBLISHED: 15:59 08 July 2020 | UPDATED: 15:59 08 July 2020

Two Ely residents have had their poems transformed into comic book illustrations. Picture: Babylon Arts

Two Ely residents have had their poems transformed into comic book illustrations. Picture: Babylon Arts

Babylon Arts

Two east Cambridgeshire poets have had their work transformed into comic book-style illustrations after they both won an arts competition.

Artist Irina Richards. Picture: Babylon ArtsArtist Irina Richards. Picture: Babylon Arts

Ely-based Babylon Arts launched an appeal to find a poet’s work to be turned into Manga art to fill 60 windowpanes along the riverside.

The gallery received 34 poems in total and found it so hard to decide one winner, they picked two – Sophie Bell and Hebe Young’s entries were chosen.

Both from the city, Sophie and Hebe’s work will be re-imagined as comic strips by artist Irina Richards who was tasked with completing the work.

Claire Somerville, chief executive of Babylon ARTS said: “We want to say a big thank you to everyone that took part in the project and sent in their poetry submissions.

Sophie Bell. Picture: Babylon ArtsSophie Bell. Picture: Babylon Arts

“We received some fantastic poems, which made the decision to pick just one, too difficult - so we chose two!”

Sophie said: “I was thrilled to be part of this project. Irina’s comic strip really captures the fears and joys so many of us have experienced during this challenging time.”

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The second chosen poem was by Hebe Young, age 13, who said: “I met Irina when I went to a The Library Presents event.

A section from Sophie Bell's comic strip. Picture: Babylon ArtsA section from Sophie Bell's comic strip. Picture: Babylon Arts

“When I saw this competition, I had to enter! I am really pleased I won! I love the result so much.”

Artist, Irina Richards said “I feel fortunate to have been part of the Comic Book Windows project. It felt good to be able to work with Babylon Arts and the public - the response was fantastic.

“I especially enjoyed the poetry component of the project - the poems were full of sincerity and raw emotion, turning them into poetry comics was an amazing experience.

“The project showed that despite the challenges and restrictions that the lockdown has brought about, the need for the arts and creativity is greater than ever.”

Hebe Young. Picture: Babylon ArtsHebe Young. Picture: Babylon Arts

The winning poems will be on display in the windows of the Babylon Gallery from July 8 to 30 and will feature in a planned exhibition at the Babylon Gallery later this year.

This exhibition comprised three separate comic ‘strips’, two based on Irina’s own stories and one using poems submitted by the public.

To view the winning work, visit: www.babylonarts.org.uk/projects/comic-book-windows

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