“Dark clouds were looming in the distance.
We watched them gather, and we wondered…
When will it come? How long will it last?”
One year on from the anniversary of the UK’s first lockdown, Together takes a gently philosophical, and very
relatable, look at how we have dealt with a difficult year and how we can cope with hard times in general.
Simple but striking text is paired with beautiful illustrations from hugely talented artist Luke Adam Hawker.
When a monumental storm arrives, day-to-day life changes overnight. We follow a man and his dog through
the uncertainty that it brings to their lives. Through their eyes, we see the difficulties of being apart, how the
world adapted to spending more time at home, the rollercoaster of emotions that we can all relate to, and
the realisation that by pulling together we can move through difficult times with new perspective, hope and
an appreciation of what matters most in life.
We have and continue to live through extraordinary times, during which we have lost so much and yet perversely gained so much as well. The storm that has enveloped so much of the world, a virus that threatens all we hold dear, leaving so many grieving, remains an ever present reminder of the fragility of the connections which define humanity! Such events require a remarkable book to act as a testimony to the storm that is the Covid pandemic, for those that are living through it and I hope for those for whom it will be but a distant memory.
Together by Luke Adam Hawker is for me that book!
It is a work of beauty, the illustrations managing to voice that sense of gathering doom, clouds on the horizon, that left us separated and detached from the lives we have lived previously. Yet this is not a work without hope, quite the contrary, it is in fact full joy and the faith that by all pulling together, the world we emerge into will be a better legacy to leave to the next generation.
The art work is breath-taking and matched up with the words provided by Marianne Laidlaw, they create the perfect combination, an ode to the things in life that really matter and a testimony to all be have been through together. Luke Hawker is an artist of immense talent and the ink and pen drawings feel crisp and intimate, portraying the busyness of our lives before the pandemic hit and yet also our individual isolation from our family and friends as the gathering storm engulfed all of us. It really is quite extraordinary how he manages to express so much emotion, the power of his drawings to illustrate the experiences of so many. It felt such an emotional read, one I connected to on a personal level, that voiced how adrift I and so many others felt and continue to do so.. The drawings managing to convey a myriad of confused and fraught feelings that have occupied my mind for the last year.
This this is a book I will keep and turn many times over the next few months, as we face the future Together.
About the author
This is the debut from Luke Adam Hawker, who worked as an architectural designer before becoming a full-time artist in 2015. He lives just outside of London with his partner Lizzie and dog Robin. Luke ships his prints and originals to buyers all over the world and has been commissioned by brands such as Soho House Hotel Group, Annabel’s Club, and Eventbrite.
You can follow the author on Twitter @lukeadamhawker