Laura Darling
In the Garden at Hospitalfield

Commissioned | Professional

Why did you make this work:
This project evolved from an artist's residency where I ran Hospitalfield’s Free Drawing School. I delivered workshops inspired by the site’s historic walled garden, and the more I learned about its 800-year history, the more questions I had. Who lived there? What plants did they grow, and for what purpose? This book collates and contextualises my research to bring this fascinating story to life.

How was the illustration used:
In the Garden at Hospitalfield is a graphic novel. The book illustrates the history of a walled garden on the east coast of Scotland, using characters who lived alongside it from its medieval, medicinal origins to the present day. Over eight centuries we meet monks and pilgrims, wealthy families and famous artists, and unearth the plants that sustained and entertained them.

How did you make this work:
I began this project by making many pencil drawings on location at Hospitalfield of the house and grounds, archival objects and from other relevant sources. From these drawings I developed narrative illustrations, later creating separate colour layers in watercolour pencil with the aid of a light box. Finally, I scanned these layers and combined them digitally in Photoshop.

Commissioner Name :
Commissioner Company :

Social Media:

Personal Website:

Currently Based:

Laura Darling grew up in the Scottish Borders, studied at Edinburgh College of Art and now lives in Dundee. Her playful, hand-drawn illustrations have been commissioned for projects across the cultural, tourism and not-for-profit sectors. Laura’s recent projects include activity books for V&A Dundee and Horsecross Arts, and her first graphic novel is published in May 2021.