Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Trombone Envy

I had two of my heroes in mind when I created this little opus; Ronald Searle and Gerard Hoffnung. The Searle influence is the uncompromising use of black and expecting the viewer to know exactly where the limbs are. I also used a Searlian angle on the elbow. It is pretty much the angle Searle used on noses, elbows, legs ooh, all sorts. I did lose my nerve when it came to the legs, though, where I used some discreet white just to let you know where the legs are and what they are doing.
The Hoffnung influence is more obvious; musicians and their instruments. My introduction to Hoffnung was courtesy of the BBC showing Halas and Batchelor animations inspired by his drawings. The sequence that most readily springs to mind is that of a choirboy singing O For the Wings of a Dove. He sprouts the wings of a dove and takes off. The Cartoon Museum's Millennium exhibition had a delightful Hoffnung of a lady playing a trombone with    an extension. The cartoon was in a wooden frame and the frame itself was extended to accommodate the trombone arm. The entire item was a joy to behold.
 I think Hoffnung was more subtly influential than people realise. There is even an obscure reference to him in Annie Proulx's Accordion Crimes wherein she mentions a concert involving a duet for two vacuum cleaners. Guess who organised that little entertainment?