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The MA Children's Book Illustration 2015 graduation exhibition opened this week (after an entire day of 'hanging' - think foamboard-wrestling, thumb-bashing, tape-sticking activity against a freshly painted white background...) at the Candid Gallery in Islington, London (full details below).

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Cover art for our Show Catalogue was created by the exceptional Dan Ungureanu

You can read a bit more about the process of installing the exhibition, and the work leading up to it, on my Wordpress blog, if you like...

All clustered together in one great space for the general public's delectation is the glorious illustration of 66 talented MA graduates, each individual's work distilled into a pretty concise 1m x 2.5m 'bracket', including wall-mounted images, a portfolio and then any combination of dummy books, sketchbooks, isolated prints, bespoke 3D character 'merchandise' and inumerbale other permutations of the brilliant stories on display (e.g. laser-cut wooden jewellery, rubber stamp sets, jigsaws, paper 'fortune-tellers' etc.). I think the most striking aspect of the show is the incredible diversity of storytelling 'voices' and the visual/artisitc 'language' through which they communicate.


My 1m x 2.5m home for the week!

I have included a smattering of photos, below, that I managed to snap during my morning's 'invigilation' (gallery-sitting) on Wednesday 11 Feb to, hopefully, give a little flavour of the exhibition, but there's really no substitute for visiting it 'in the flesh' and immersing yourself in the very physical act of reading a tangible book (I know - a CRAZY proposition! ;) ). Some of the dummy books are incredibly tactile, e.g. one has it's own stone-age furry jacket (!), and several have cut-outs and lift-the-flap features that it's really quite difficult to appreciate any other way than by immediate experience.


An assortment of (hilarious) curious clay critters, crafted by the brilliant Caroline Gray


The lovely Ellie Snowdon with her beautifully warm and tender re-telling of 'The Owl and the Pussycat'


(L - R) Sian Sharp, Hannah Meara & Sebastian Walker Award-winner, Dave Barrow


Lisa Sheehan (best use for an abandoned teddy bear [see bottom left corner of display]!)


Tereza Sediva' s incredible paper crafts, printmakings - and rubber stamps!


The gloriously eccentric world of Lucy Wooler's Sir Vauncey Fitzwilliam Muntjac-De-Volauvent!


Siri Vinter's charming lighthouse tale (with laser-cut rings!), Jo-Shin Lee's beautiful prints, and the talented Jenny Duke - a Selected Illustrator in the Bologna Children's Book Fair Illustrator Exhibition 2015.

As detailed above, the exhibition is, unfortunately, limited to this London location until the end of Saturday 14 Feb, when it will be taken down and transported to its 'spiritual home' of Cambridge and the Ruskin Gallery at Anglia Ruskin University-Cambridge School of Art, where much of the artwork and many of the stories were conceived. The Cambridge show - traditionally a slightly pared-down version of the London exhibition - will run from Thursday 26 Feb until Saturday 14 March, and details of this display can be found on the Anglia Ruskin website.

If you are interested in seeing any of my, or my wonderfully talented coursemates' work at closer quarters - and in paper format as opposed to this ethereal, on-screen incarnation (!) - and happen to be in the vicinity of Islington over the next day or two, please do pay the show a visit: we'd be delighted to see you!


The show is located on the 1st floor of the Candid Arts Centre at 5 Torrens Street, Islington, LONDON EC1V 1NQ, and the gallery doors are open from 10am - 6pm daily until (and including) Saturday 14 February. Full details are available on the show website, where you can also use the links to read a little more about each exhibitor, see examples of their work, and find individuals' links/contact details.

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