Good Wives and Warriors Show You What Imagination Looks Like
The human imagination is like a string of infinite length with infinite knots. It cannot be untangled, anymore than a person can be fully known and understood. The complexity that imagination represents is mysterious and enticing, but remains as shadowed as ever. But that doesn’t mean we can’t understand parts of it. The cover story for September’s New Scientist is an eye-opening piece on how the human imagination has affected and changed the course of human history, and examines the value in the pursuit of that which is unreal.
Since the imagination cannot be known, and is as feral as a wild animal with every resource in creation, and out of it, creating a visualization representation of the imagination is an impossible challenge in its own right, but Good Wives and Warriors were on hand to put the cover, and supporting imagery, together for New Scientist.
Becky Bolton and Louise Chappell, the constituent parts of Good Wives and Warriors, had the experience to draw from when it came time to decide what imagination looks like. As artists, they’ve lived in that energetic space. Speaking about a particularly creative time they said, “Our heads had the space to expand and we created work that when we look back on it, we have no idea what we were thinking, so I think we must have been in some dream-like state while creating.” The daydream has a tendency to run right out of the dreamer’s head upon completion and the return to the real world. For their cover, we see a suited man in consideration, and an overfilled world is spilling out of his head, too large to be contained. But as Becky and Louise will tell you, you don’t always have to rely on imagination.
The real world has as much to offer as the interior world. “The real world is so strange and fascinating that we don’t really need to work purely from our imaginations! So, we collect as many inspiring images as possible when we approach making new work.” Starting with those images as source materials, they use their creativity as the glue that connects all those elements, becoming the visual ambassadors between ideas, completing original ideas off of naturally disparate pieces.
As wild and untamable as the imagination is, there is a lot of shared experience when it comes to the daydream. The magazine wanted to hit these familiar notes to give a base from which to build familiarity for the viewers. “New Scientist was quite specific about the style and imagery they wanted to represent imagination,” Good Wives and Warriors explains. “There were specific references to children’s imagination so we had to include a number of clichés like dragons, mythical creatures and unicorns. We needed to represent imagination, not really use our own, so it needed to have conventional and recognizable links to the article.” As unique as all of our internal experiences are, Good Wives and Warriors represented something from each of our own personal worlds.