AOI Critics Choice Award 'Trying to Poke a Hole in the

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  • AOI Critics Choice Award 'Trying to Poke a Hole in the World'

  • Personal Work. I'm very proud to announce that this piece was selected, by none other than Bonnie Greer, to be the winner of with the Association of Illustrators Critics Choice Award.

    This piece depicts people from all walks of life struggling to try and make their own mark. It will also feature in Self Promotion Section of The Association of Illustrators Best of British Illustration Annual: Images 35.
  • Here is what Bonnie Greer wrote about the work: "There were over 400 selected submissions this year, and each communicated not only its remit, but went beyond that to take you to another place. I enjoyed them all.

    But it was Peter Strain’s “Trying To Poke A Hole In The World” which made articulate that great unspoken that every illustration strives for. It immediately transmits that “I didn’t know that I felt like that” jolt that is a kind of Holy Grail. It is literal and literary, a word portrait whose words are inside of our heads. It invites us to write a script we have never written before.

    And yet, it also has a music within that can’t be communicated because it is being born and has not yet found its voice. That we all know this music is testament to our connectiveness, which Strain invites us to confront and honour.

    There are points where the artist goes back in time to an era in which people did aim to poke a hole in the world, yet he is not nostalgic. Like a twenty first century Rimbaud, he uses this trip down memory land to throw away everything that he reveres. We chase behind, attempting to retrieve what we love, what we know. In the process, we learn something new. Mixed in with the known are those images that are creatures of his imagination, filtered through his essence. We think that we know them, and their surface familiarity gives us the assurance to step inside the world of the illustration. There we discover that everything is a product of an apocalyptic imagination. These are drawings
    about the edge of the abyss. They are a warning to our age, and they’re not kidding. The shape of the illustration is like an ancient African gourd. We know that ancient shape in our gut and we respond.

    I love the throwaway aspect of “Trying To Poke A Hole In The World”, too. It is like a piece of graffiti hidden under a railway bridge, or something glimpsed from a car waiting at a traffic light in a “bad” neighbourhood. Its melancholia, its fear, its music and hope and determination does what it says on the tin. Peter Strain reached down deep. He invites you to do the same, too."
  • A sample of the spread in Images 35.