Gilles de Rais / Estates of Westeros exhibition

Gilles de Rais / Estates of Westeros exhibition

Tue 22 October – Sat 26 October
Free / Lower Café Gallery

Modernist art meets avant-garde poetry.


SJ Fowler, Ben Morris and David Kelly invert the myth of Gilles de Rais through Jimmy Saville, and turn the fantasy of Westeros into a housing estate in an exhibition which explores the groundbreaking possibilities of collaboration, when allied to experimental publishing practises. Released in 2013 as books-in-boxes by Like This press, the visually stunning illustrations and line drawings are exceptional examples of successful aesthetic fusion through concept, even in fundamentally different mediums.

The Estates of Westeros is where avant garde poetry meets avant garde illustration. Whether perception or reality, housing estates are environments of occlusion, claustrophobia and damage, and poetry about them has a responsibility to reflect this complexity and intensity in its tone and form. The Estates of Westeros is a meditation on this living space through the universe of George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones, and where Gilles de Rais explores the absurdity of mythmaking in that which once was real, the Estates… explores the grinding realism at the heart of the fantastical.

Gilles de Rais is an interchangeable narrative reflection on the life and legend of the eponymous villain, this synthesis of avant garde poetry and modernist line drawing aims to satirise and subvert the manner in which the monstrous myth surrounding such de Rais is echoed in our own time by Jimmy Saville. This is the disjunctive folklore of idiot’s resounding through the ages, from 15th century France to 21st century Britain.

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