Mhairi Braden Illustration

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Anonymous asked: Have you got any tips for someone looking to apply to ECA?

Hello!
I don’t really know what stage you’re at right now, so I’m going to answer as if I’m talking to someone who’s in the same position as my 16/17 year old past self who was being forced to make decisions about what to do with her life far too early and didn’t know the first thing about anything. 

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Peony Gent, my blurry self and Drew Walker at Glasgow Zine Fest last Saturday in Old Hairdressers. 

Everyone was so friendly, not to mention incredibly talented - absolutely would do it again!

(because I didn’t think to bring a camera, photos are by the wonderful and very tall Valppa)

So for the past 3 weeks, I’ve been taking part in groupwork and it was actually pretty good at getting me to try something different for a change. I worked more closely with Performance Costume student, Patti, and she helped me look more into fabrics and I helped her out by writing the text that she got directly embroidered onto cotton for her bunting. (my final piece is the hanging at the back of the shelter)

Ink on chiffon.

© Mhairi Braden 2014 | mhillustrator 

"Éire"

For college, we had a project called ‘mapbook’ - it was essentially an open brief, so everyone got really involved, they all look brilliant and totally unique.

Mine is all about pre-Christian Irish myth, particularly that of the Stone/Neolithic Age (9000BC+), during Ireland’s time of matrilineal society.
Each image has it’s own story - and there’s LOTS to see.

'Áine's sun disc' (or the image in place of a compass), stands for the sun, the cycle of life and the earth's seasons - which interlinks with Ireland's 'five corners' or the old five provinces of Ireland. Today it is only Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Ulster, there used to be the sacred province, Mide, but Leinster has since taken it up. The corners of the map follow Áine’s sun disc and the symbolism of each of the four existing provinces - Leinster’s association with the beginning of Irish agriculture, Munster’s sun goddesses, life and harmony, Connacht the province of war, and Ulster, the province of death (Bith’s tomb) and winter (the resting place of the Cailleach Bheur - who just so happens to be the Irish equivalent to Scotland’s Beira, Queen of Winter).

I could go on about this forever, so if anyone has any questions, please just ask

Double sided screenprint mapbook of mythic ireland.

P.S. I will be selling some of these prints/books at the Glasgow Zine Fest on the 29th March, so come along if you can! PPS Now up on my etsy store!

© Mhairi Braden 2014 | mhillustrator 

Screenprints originally made for a collaborative college project about Edinburgh’s Grassmarket. After realising it had nothing to do with the Grassmarket, we quickly put together a zine about ghosts instead. 

I just got over excited after reading this:

"The earliest reference to Arthur is contained in the ancient poem The Gododdin, which refers to the Votadini people whose territories included Edinburgh.

It tells of warriors gathering to battle Northumbria’s Anglo Saxons and preparing with a whole year of festivities in Edinburgh. Each warrior is described, including Gwarrdur “who although he was not Arthur made his strength a refuge, the front line’s ­bulwark”.

It suggests that Arthur was already a famous hero and known in the area at the time. It’s also thought that the warriors killed in the resulting battle may have been buried on Arthur’s Seat, which also was known as the Hill of the Dead.

Another bizarre link connects the hill with Arthurian legend. In the 18th century a large hoard of Bronze Age swords and spears were found in the loch. Some, according to Donald, believed the items were simply waste from a smithy, others argued the swords could be offerings to the goddess of the lake or, indeed, the Lady of the Lake, who presented Arthur with his mighty sword, Excalibur.”

It was just as well we did something else, I rushed the screenprinting process so there are countless mistakes with them - I’ll just have to do them again! (and maybe do more of what I want since there are no restrictions anymore)

© Mhairi Braden 2013 | mhillustrator

In Edinburgh, I don’t have a TV so coming home means watching crap telly with my Dad. 

Also my cat likes to sit on paper. I forgot that when I left my book wide open on the floor.

© Mhairi Braden 2013 | mhillustrator