As the refugee crisis intensifies, today another artist uses their time on Yellow to illustrate unfolding events across Europe.
Yellow is our series of 52 artists illustrating 52 weeks of news. We started the project to show that illustration isn’t just an art form of pretty pictures, and to test what it could bring to news coverage that traditional journalism either can’t or won’t.
Over the past 43 week of the series, Europe’s evolving refugee crisis has been covered by a number of artists. Eva Bee focused on the plight of first wave refugees, marooned on barges and fishing boats in the Mediterranean. Two weeks ago Paul Blow tackled the tragedy of dead children washing up on European shores.
This week’s artist in the series is Pete Fowler, a Cardiff born, London-based illustrator whose work has graced books, magazines and album covers for nearly two decades. We asked Pete what drew him to illustrate the unfolding refugee crisis for his week on Yellow:
“I decided to focus on the plight of refugees on the border to Hungary and the riot and chaos that followed the closing of the border, with the Hungarian police responding in, some would say, a heavy handed manner.
“My work rarely touches on real world events and situations. Although I have a very keen interest in what’s going on, I tend to draw mostly from my imagination. But recently I’ve been looking for some way to respond, as a human, to what’s going on around us. You can’t get away from the mess that’s being made.
“It’s with this in mind that I approached this illustration. With a purely human and emotional take on our fellow human’s situations and struggles, I wanted to portray the situation, perhaps sitting to one side of the fence a little, I must admit.
“My initial thoughts when watching the story unfold via Twitter and news sites was ‘this shouldn’t be happening’. I don’t think I can really say more than that to be honest, so let’s call this piece: This Shouldn’t Be Happening.”