GOLDFISH BOWL: An interview with Illustrator Olivia Twist

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Goldfish Bowl is a collaboration between The Paper Birds theatre company and Caleb Femi. With live music from DJ / music producer Lex Amor and illustrations by Olivia Twist, Goldfish Bowl is based on the life & works of Young People’s Laureate Caleb Femi, and interrogates the many small, but defining moments that make up a life. It’s a thrilling combination of spoken word, theatre, music and breath-taking visuals. Find out more on our website here.

You’re creating the illustrations for Goldfish Bowl. How did you get involved with the project? 

Me, Caleb and Alexis are mates. We are part of the SXSWKS collective and we are all fans of each others work. Caleb brought me in. What’s better than working with you mates?

You’ve collaborated with Celeb Femi and Lex Amor before. How is this process similar / different to other projects you’ve worked together on? 

I guess this is something none of us have done before so we are constantly learning together. Our arts forms are all very different so it have been interesting finding the perfect concoction of all the elements.

What can people expect from your illustrations and how are they being used within the performance? What themes / elements did you want to bring out in your drawings?

People can expect to see our London, proper London.

I wanted my work to be as honest as possible. No frills.

The work is punchy, the work will get you feeling nostalgic and the images are crafted with love.

My illustrations enable the audience to see what Caleb saw in another way. The work is very esoteric. The work is gonna make you smile.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to do what you do?

Be a self starter, grab a couple friends and make things happen. If you don’t enjoy it don’t do it.

Don’t get so caught up that you are no longer able to see the beauty in the mundane.

The show previews at Canada Water Theatre on 5 & 6 October, what are you most excited about seeing come to life and who needs to come and see this show and why?

I can’t wait to see the ‘just coming to London’ scene, I love the poem Caleb does already so to see it with a bit of animation will be really mint.

Everyone needs to come and see this show to be honest, all the secondary school kids across London, the aunties in Peckham, everyone who has ever moved to a new place, theatre buffs and even those who don’t really engage with this type of art. The story is one many will be able to relate to. Caleb and Lex are giving us that bit of visibility we need.

Goldfish Bowl previews at Canada Water Theatre on Thursday 5 & Friday 6 October.

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