This small, narrow publication was one of the outcomes of our 2018 Flatplan masterclass.
Launched by Norwich University of the Arts graduate Lily Lambie-Kiernan to support new illustrators and their work, the first issue of Ephemeral was nominated for Best Use of Illustration at last year’s Stack Awards.
The theme of that green-covered issue was Haircut; for number two Lily has doubled the number of pages and returned to a particular obsession from her time at NUA. ‘A quick Google search led me to Thale Cress as an illustration project for my degree,’ she explains, ‘As a student, with fantastic mentors like Peter Nencini, you uncover narratives behind absolutely everything. After finding out the importance Thale Cress had to crop and molecular research, I focussed most of my third year practice on the plant.’
To most people Thale Cress (or Arabidopsis Thaliana to give it it’s proper name) is just a small weed, but there’s much more to it than that. ‘It’s a key element within crop research, a ‘model’ plant for tests and experiments, and the first to complete a full growth cycle from seed to seed in space,’ she told me, ‘and the perfect starting point for our exploration in to genetic modification, food security and crop research.’
The result is a magazine that works on two levels. A quick flick reveals a fine collection of illustration work commissioned by Lily; then the stories the images accompany provide a second, more reflective, level that shifts what might have been a colourful collection of work into a more tightly focussed editorial realm.
The issue opens with a glossary of terms before introducing the John Innes Centre, a local research station, photographed here by Kamilia Meeson-Pedersen. We proceed through stories of plant-based vaccines, rice famines, prcoesses that speed up plant growth to a dystopian future when humanity has eaten all remaining animals…
Because of this dedication to research and storytelling, Ephemeral is a lively addition to the indie magazine scene as well as a strong illustration resource.
Director: Lily Lambie-Kiernan
Layout: Mitch Forsyth and Lily Lambie-Kiernan