Drawing Words: Exhibition highlights

The Drawing Words exhibition curated by Lauren Child and commissioned by the British Council was launched in October 2018 and can be encountered in the BC reception for a limited time period. It celebrates ten of the most inspiring contemporary British Children’s Book illustrators, including longstanding AOI member of over two decades, Jill Calder!

British Council on the exhibition: Some of the illustrators are established artists developing their practice, while others are at the beginning of their careers pushing the boundaries of the art form in new and exciting ways. The diversity of approach is striking, and each illustrator uses different techniques to tell stories that show new perspectives on the world around us…a snapshot of a vibrant and flourishing sector.

The artwork can be encountered in the foyer of the British Council London building, each awarded project dedicated a panel on concertina screen dividers, with a showreel of projected animations and wooden bookshelf for each of the physical picture books.

We dropped by to hear Lauren Child deliver an thoughtful speech on the evening of the Private View, summarising the selected works and delivering a philosophical note on the future of picture book illustration. Our personal highlight was hearing that the show would be going on tour in a number of countries in 2019 and ultimately generate a number of teaching resources and workshops. The first of which can be found here. 

The combined BC/Laureate aim is to encourage teachers, librarians and children and young people to use more picture books as teaching resources and develop the standing of picture book illustration – which is a very worthwhile cause. We have shared our five highlights below!

Jill Calder
Robert the Bruce by James Robertson (Birlinn)

Emily Hughes

William Grill
The Wolves of Currumpaw

Yasmeen Ismail 
Time for Bed, Fred!

Emily Rand
A Dog Day

Curators insight: (Children’s Laureate, Lauren Child on Illustration)

“There is a belief that the purpose of illustration is secondary, merely there to represent the words in pictorial form, but good illustration is so much more. A picture can convey a thought, a feeling or an idea succinctly and exquisitely and, sometimes, with more impact than a whole book full of words…”

The AOI would like to encourage you to support the Illustrators, and British Council’s aim by checking out the celebrated projects and resources on the British Council Website.

We’ll keep our eyes peeled for the launch of the new teaching resources and international exhibition tour!

7th January 2019

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