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Bitesize: Tolkien Illustration in the Soviet Bloc

Wednesday, April 17

Programmed in response to the World Illustration Awards 2023 Exhibition.

After decades of censorship, the release in 1981 of the first illustrated Soviet Bloc editions of The Lord of the Rings heralded a period of intense visual creativity. Resourceful and innovative illustrators then fashioned new forms of Tolkienian imagery via a combination of personal inventiveness and the reforging of artwork from the West. This short talk reflects upon these works and their relevance to current debates regarding the transcultural nature of fantasy illustration.

Dr Joel Merriner is an Associate Lecturer in Art History at the University of Plymouth, where he teaches modules on art historical methodologies and the history of book illustration. He is currently writing a monograph entitled Illustrating The Lord of the Rings in the Soviet Bloc: Iconographies of Difference for Bloomsbury Academic’s Perspectives on Fantasy series. His current research focuses on the global imaginary and the interconnected nature of Tolkien book illustration, fanart and film.

Join Joel Merriner for a fascinating discussion of Soviet Bloc illustrations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of The Rings and their relevance to current debates regarding the transcultural nature of fantasy illustration.

Date: Wednesday 17 April 2024
Time: 13:00 – 13:45
Venue: The Levinsky Gallery, Roland Levinsky Building
Ticket information: Free admission – booking essential
Ticket link: https://eventbrite.co.uk/e/bitesize-tolkien-illustration-in-the-soviet-bloc-tickets-774308185627?aff=ebdsoporgprofile

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