In this update, we speak to artist Leanda Jaine who has created the exclusive design for the Samson tote, laser etched illustration and prints.
How did you become an artist?
I’ve always drawn, I was a window dresser for many years for John Lewis and Laura Ashley and then due to my personal circumstances changing, I moved back to Norwich and I studied for a degree in Illustration at NUA. I graduated with a first class honours degree in Illustration in 2014. I’ve built up my portfolio since then and now sell and exhibit in and around Norfolk and Suffolk. I have a new project being launched this May in Midhurst, West Sussex.
Many of your artworks feature Norwich buildings and landmarks, what attracts you to them so much?
I love the architecture you find in Norwich, it’s incredibly varied. I base all my prints on what I like. My initial prints were around my own wanderings through Norwich. It is loosely based around the psychogeography principles, using different landmarks or sequences to navigate a route through a city. I devised an A to Z as a map, which encourages the viewer to see and experience a new side to the city and maybe experience a new area or people/conversations on the route.
What made you want to be involved with the Saving Samson project?
As a teenager I went to the Ritzy’s nightclub so have fond memories the building. I was also excited about the idea of working with the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell and Art Fund.
Tell us about the process you undertook to create your wonderful Samson lino cut reward?
Firstly, I drew a sketch from the close-up photograph of Samson’s face, taking care to include details such as his heavy brows, curly hair and lines on his face. I then traced this onto a piece of lino 30cm x 30cm.
The lino is then warmed, so it is easier to cut. Then using cutting tools, one of which is like a tiny little trowel-shaped tool, I ‘scooped’ out the lines to make the image I had traced. This then produced the relief image, which of course is back to front, or ‘negative’.
I then used a lino roller and oil based ink, and used flat, layout paper to get a crisp, defined image. I put this into my book press and squeezed it flat, giving it a final roll over with a large stone!
When the image came out, I was delighted with how it looked, and have been realised pleased to see the image of Samson transferred to the colourful tote bag and laser etched illustration.
Why do you think Samson and Hercules are so loved by the people of Norwich?
Norwich folk love everything about Norwich! They are incredibly proud, loyal and supportive of what is here. Samson and Hercules are part of the heritage of the city. It’s a building that people have grown up with and have a story about.
We are passionate about bringing Samson home to Norwich and need your help to make this happen. We have three weeks to hit our target - so please help us reach our target by donating today or spreading the word!