Tuesday, 11 March 2014

MA Children's Book Illustration Degree Show 2014


Do you want to take your children somewhere to look at art?  Do you want to revisit your own childhood?

Or do you simply want to see some absolutely stunning art work by the new generation of illustrators?

Then visit the Degree Show of the amazing Master of Arts in Children's Book Illustration at Cambridge.

Here's my pick:

photo 5a
© Hrefna Bragadottir
A whimsical creature that reminds  me of Dr Seuss.  Gorgeously spare.

If you like any of the pictures, do click on the illustrator's name to visit their website.  These artists have amazing websites!!  Such fun for children to look at, too.

irene dickson
© Irene Dickson
You can dream yourself into this magical garden.  I love the little red wellies, and the big dragonfly.

bear ill

A lone bear swimming through what could be a remote lake in Canada.  Atmospheric and melancholy.  And makes you want to know more.

© Renata Galindo
Crisp, minimal drawing and composition, and such fun:  mermaid being serenaded by pirate.  Love the hair and the pirate's gesticulating hand.  Also the scritchy-scratchy clouds.

photo 4a
© Melissa Castrillon
Summertime frolicking.  A great happy person in a fabulous jungley frock.

© Carol Reynoldson

Witchy night-time magic.  This takes you to another world.

© Joy Rutherford

Children will enjoy the moving animation of this story-in-motion. Watch the shadow play on the monitor.  Reminds me of the famous German paper-cut animation film maker, Lotte Reiniger.  And of Indonesian shadow puppet plays.

© Nan Deng

A quiet scene, like moments from a Wong Kar Wai film.  Even the juxtaposition of (close-up) foot and figure in front of mirror is like an edit in a movie.

© Sarah Palmer
Hands-on fun for little (and big) children:  lift the flap book of little monsters eating things.

photo 1
© Julie-Anne Graham

People eating and drinking: a genteel and very, very English afternoon tea visit.  Jolly lady in lace blouse entertains little tousle-haired child, and there's so much to look at - it's like an anthropology lesson in how to be English:  overstuffed armchair, flowery cushions, etagéres with cup cakes and sandwich slices sans crust, arts-and-crafty wallpaper, and a lovely communion between the generations.  Through the window: not the expected rural scenery but (surprise) something reminiscent of Canary Wharf in London.

photo 3
© Monika Filipina Trzpil

The eating theme continues, this time with fanciful animals at a picnic.  Hooray!  (They all seem to shout.)  Don't you want to be there and pour yourself some tea from that spouty thermos?

photo 2a
© Alexandra Clarke

More animals.  Children's illustrators love animals!  These pigs intrigue me because the scene is plucked from a story. I want to know what happens next.  And isn't that one of the hallmarks of a good story?

Is that what illustration is?  Telling a story in images?  Sometimes to accompany text?

photo 1a
© Jessica Colón

This sassy person seems more stand-alone but I think she's a character out of a story.  I want to know her name (is it Bijou?) and what she will do next.  And what she keeps in that cheeky red handbag!

This is not exhaustive, by the way.  I only had my mobile phone on me so not all my pictures turned out very well.  You can see how much there is to look at (and small children will have fun running round the mezzanine gallery -- I remember my son throwing paper airplanes from the railings...)


MA Children's Book Illustration, degree exhibition at the Ruskin Gallery, in the Cambridge School of Art, at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.

Ends 13 March!  Don't miss it!

© Emma Armitage.

I end with these magnificent guinea pigs!  I could look at them for hours, making up names and personalities.  Some remind me of guinea pigs we once kept....

Don't you love these illustrations?

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