An Anatomy of Alice

Research | Reportage | Comics | Sequence | Animation | 3D | Authorial Narrative | Illustration

This non-linear series of comics aims to recover the life of a lost ancestor (Alice, born c.1890) through visual research and storytelling. Each comic was initiated by a small detail or a tentative historical possibility, such as an object, a place or a profession. As a result, each comic explores a different historical scenario, and a different potential identity for Alice. The acceptable roles available to working-class women of Alice's age remained narrow throughout the interwar period, and each story tests these cultural boundaries and asks how it might have been to live within them, or to have no choice but to transgress them. By taking an empathetic approach to social history, placing female experience at the forefront of the narrative, this project explores how, when the official record fails to recognise and represent female lives, narrative illustration and storytelling might provide an alternative methodology for filling these silences.