ZEEL has been an illustrator since 1995, and illustrator-educator since 2002.He describes the art-services that he offers in these terms:-“ZEEL SERVICES – ILLUSTRATION,COMICS,TOYS,EFFIGIES” and the work he makes shows a fascination with storytelling, folk art, nature, myth and history. He is as likely to make humorous cartoons as more ambiguous artworks, and uses a range of techniques from drawing, printmaking, digital arts, animation, or”Effigy Making” as he describes his sculptural works.
As an educator ZEEL has led groups to Camber each year to draw and explore the stories of the Marsh and has become more fascinated as time went on, building up a sense of the landscape and the character of the area. ZEEL contributed to AIRM in 2013 as an artist exhibitor engaging with the history of All Saints Church Lydd as well as the nature of the marsh and the continuity of family, worship and community in the area stretching back to the Roman Occupation, via a series of gilded wood-turned figures. Bearing this built-up interest and knowledge in mind, Susan Churchill AIRM curator, commissioned ZEEL to draw a MAP and imagery as a portrait of the area and participating churches to act as exhibition invite. As he drew and abstracted the elements of the area, condensing a wealth of information into a concise communicative form, ZEEL drew and drew, building up far too much material to fit into the map, he conjured elemental manifestations, almost a pantheon of animals and anthropomorphic representations of the crops, animals and myths of the marsh, encompassing elements of the cycle of life in the Marsh.
These elements could not be included in the Map/Invite so ZEEL suggested that they could form aZine/Colouring Book to be given as part of the AIRM festival, with a section to be collected at each ofthe 5 churches, and then bound into one booklet to be then kept by the visitor.