On Sunday 13th of May, Jim Stephenson’s always excellent miniclick photography talk joins forces with Hungry Eye Magazine to present Anton Corbijn’s Ian Curtis biopic, “Control”. The film will be screened at The Duke of York’s Picturehouse as part of the Brighton Fringe and will be followed by a discussion on the aesthetics of that era with Stephen Mallinder from the band Cabaret Voltaire.
To commemorate the screening, Jim asked four Brighton based artists to design one-off special edition posters. Graphic design is represented by myself and Chris Harrison of Harrison & Co with illustrators Billy Mather and Ryan Gillett making up the quartet.
For me, the film offers a bittersweet insight into Ian Curtis’ world. While he and the band are finding fame and adulation, Curtis is depressed and going through a failing marriage. He is also diagnosed with epilepsy and is suffering from the side effects of the drugs prescribed to help him. A line in the film stood out for me: “It’s a matter of trial and error until the right drug or combination of drugs are found”. This illustrates how far medicine had yet to develop on managing epilepsy, and brought home to me the confusion, despair and disappointment that Curtis must have felt after diagnosis. According to the Epilepsy Society, seizures may induce, among other things, visual disturbances such as flashing lights, hallucinations and the feeling of a ‘wave’ going through the head. With the poster, I wanted to visually depict the sensations that Curtis may have experienced as an epilepsy sufferer, giving the viewer the same sort of unease. The poster is also intended to represent the tunnel-like dark loneliness that sufferers of depression report.
I wanted to build layers of meaning into the image. So for example, the image is made of 23 concentric rings, each representing a year of Curtis’ life; almost like the rings of a tree. There are also 80 segments to the circle as the film ends with Curtis’ death in 1980. I hope the poster does justice to this beautiful and moving film.
The posters have been limited to 30 prints of each design and are printed on heavyweight A3 recycled stock. The set of four posters is available to buy for the bargain price of just £20 (plus £5 p&p in the UK). Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. For information on the screening and details on where to get tickets, click here.