| New TalentBrief:
Write and illustrate a non-fiction children's book about the remote islands of St Kilda in Scotland. The book covers the wildlife and geography of the islands, the unique way of life of the community who used to live there, and the story of the evacuation in 1930. The narrative follows the life of Norman John Gillies, one of the last children ever to live on St Kilda.
I worked with the family of Norman John, studied old photographs, and also travelled by boat to St Kilda to do location drawing. I wanted to show what a beautiful unique place it is and also tell the amazing story of the people who called it home, despite the hardship. The final artworks are all hand-made in mono-print with digital edits, to reflect the dramatic setting, weather and atmosphere.
Beth grew up in Yorkshire and later studied English Literature in Edinburgh. Her love of literature and drawing eventually combined at Cambridge School of Art with an MA in Children's Book Illustration, where she learned the art of printmaking. She graduated in 2017, was selected for the Bologna Illustrators Exhibition in 2018, and 'Child of St Kilda' was published in 2019. Beth's work focuses on nature and sense of place.