Ben Naylor is a UK visual artist from Brighton. We met in the Brunswick pub during the fringe festival – a time of year where Brighton fills with people toting guitars, wearing all colours of the rainbow at once, and playing join-the-dots, by foot, on a map of fringe events.
I was playing a show at the Brunswick, which likes to play with boundaries so much that it is in Hove and Brighton both at once. I had trouble finding it, but onyl because I tried following people with guitars and found out that that was 50% of the populace. After the show, in the windowless gig room, we got chatting. People are chatty in England. I like it.
It turned out Ben was a very talented visual artist with a style that combines all the best elements of storytelling, humour and horror. For those of you who don’t know, I have a thing for the visual arts, and visual artists too we talked about doing something collaborative, in that way one does over a cider, where one is never entirely sure if things will pan out, but hopes it will. We parted ways after scrawling website addresses and emails on soggy beer mats.
When the upcoming album, “Children of a Factory Nation” had the release delayed to co-incide with tour dates later in teh year, it seemed the perfect opportunity to hunt out some unusual and interesting multi-artform ways of presenting the stories within it. It’s times like that where I am very thankful to know as many talented filmmakers, authors and artists as I do. Added to the people we already had plans with – the globe-trotting, groundbreaking, Eloise Coveny who was working on an animation video for Johnny’s tale, and Anarchy Books’ chainsaw weilding mastermind, Andy Remic, who was organising a writing competition – Ben’s artwork seemed like the perfect fit. A few emails and rough sketches later, I was very excited to see what would come next.
So, without further waffle, Ben’s work is presented below. What I will add is that working with such wonderful people as those named above makes me proud to be a creative type, and able to hold my head up at least half high when snarly tax-office types accuse me of engaging in terrible folly for even imagining that the arts is a valid persuit. In the name of creativity being a very valid persuit indeed, here are the picures, as promised.
Lastly, if you’d like to have a copy of your own, cos of technical hitches, the comic has become one of those special things you can only get at gigs – unless you order one of the 15 copies my partner and I printed at home and cut ourselves in our dimly lit flat on a rainy afternoon. Our eyesight has since deteriorated too much to do any more by hand, but the images, in full, will also be part of the magazine that comes out after the album release with all the related projects presented, and will be released digitally, with the track itself, closer to the albums release.