Archive for January, 2013

Spatialising Illustration

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013


The two day Spatialising Illustration symposium took place last week – 24/25 January – at the Dynevor Centre for Art, Swansea Metropolitan University, and was a great success. The SMU/VaroomLab symposium took the theme of the ways in which we encounter space through illustration, and presented a variety of speakers tackling this theme in a broad context.


Speakers included, Laura Carlin, writer Nicola Davies, Rachel Gannon, Allan Walker, Roderick Mills (above) and Ghost of Gone Birds founder, Chris Aldhous. A special Ghosts exhibition also launched during the symposium, and delegates could also view the Images 36 exhibition which was on display in the Dynevor Centre.

A flash fiction event was also held, where writers read their responses to a piece of artwork, provoking thoughts and laughter. A report on the event will be on the Varoom website soon.

Leo Duff

Monday, January 21st, 2013

9th & 10th February 10.30am to 4.30pm

Platform Gallery, faculty of Art, Design & Architecture, Kingston University

Knights Park. Kingston upon Thames KT1 2QJ

Screen shot 2013-01-21 at 15.42.47

Studio Days are on 9th and 10th February, 10.30 to 4.30 pm. The exhibition will then be supplemented by additional works from Leo’s studio and she will be there to tell present various projects over the past ten years including exhibitions in Ireland, Taiwan, Korea and China.

Leo was Head of International Studies at Kingston University, and is a member of the VaroomLab peer review panel

Frazer Hudson – 20 Years of Graphic Illustration

Monday, January 14th, 2013

17 January – 24 February 10-5pm

daily and until 8pm Wednesdays

Sheffield Institute of Arts
Sheffield Hallam University
Cantor Building
153 Arundel Street
Sheffield, South Yorkshire S1 2NU
United Kingdom


Looking back over 20 years of commissioned work for publications such as The Guardian and The Observer, this retrospective of renowned illustrator Frazer Hudson uncovers the relationship between art direction, art editor and artist, from working drawings to fully realised illustrations, understood through the cultural, political, social and economic events of the time.

Medium Rare

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

The Basement, Old Truman Brewery, F Block, Entrance from Elys Yard, London

Private view: 17th January 2013 | 6pm – 10pm
Open to public: 18th January 2013 | 10am – 4pm

Free admission

London College of Communication final year Illustration students present their interim show: Medium Rare.

This eclectic exhibition will showcase the work to date of this years graduate class as they explore, transform and question the field of illustration.

There will also be complimentary drinks and a selection of prints for sale, proceeds going towards the class’ graduate show

Interpretation – call for submissions

Monday, January 7th, 2013


Deadline for abstracts Monday 3 February 2014 to Jo Davies email here

Academic and professional illustrator submissions are invited for peer review for a VaroomLab/Partners symposium in Autumn 2014 and VaroomLab Journal. Venue to be confirmed.


An open call is made for contributions that broaden the understanding of how Interpretation is manifested within the language of Illustration.

We welcome a breadth of responses and are keen to involve practising illustrators and commissioners as well as academics and theory and practice-based researchers from within illustration and across disciplines.


The place of Interpretation in the commissioning process for lllustration is seldom explored. Illustration not only works to describe textual information in practical applications, but also functions to interpret in narrative, express concepts and convey information. Sometimes error and misunderstanding are factors in the interaction. The relationship between intellect and emotion during the interpretive process is complex and the role of the illustrator’s individual identity and ideology in the theory and practice of
interpretation often hidden.

Papers are invited from illustration practitioners as well as academics

Additional information and Varoom guidelines here

Submissions may reflect on some of these ideas:

  • The difference in interpretations
  • Narrative interpretation
  • Communication and Language
  • Collaborative understandings across disciplines
  • Propaganda and political voices
  • Response to music/sound/performance
  • Interpretive misunderstandings
  • Error
  • Miscommunication
  • Understanding meaning
  • Empathetic relationships
  • Seeing and not seeing
  • Approaches to drawing and writing
  • Truth and Distortion
  • Style – Expression – Methodology
  • Evolution
  • Function – Form – Medium – Message

Image D Brazell

Arise, Sir Quentin

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Association of Illustrators Patron and all round illustration superstar, Quentin Blake, has been honoured with a knighhood in the New Year’s Honours list for 2013. We’d like to offer our congratulations to Quentin as a tireless supporter of illustration, and of the AOI in particular.

Quentin was honoured for ‘services to illustration’, recognising a lifetime’s dedication to the artform, and his support for the House of Illustration, a permanent museum and gallery for which he has pledged his entire archive, which is due to open in the Kings Cross regeneration area of London in 2014.

Blake told the press, “The funny thing is that my books are published a lot in France and Germany and I get a lot of letters from people there who think I have got it already, so I suppose this kind of regularises it. I haven’t quite got used to it yet, but I’m very pleased about it. I’ve already had an OBE and a CBE. I think of it as quite a nice 80th birthday present. But I think it is even more valuable to me because it is for things that aren’t finished – it relates to projects that are still ongoing.”

Sir Quentin is shown here opening the AOI Images 32 Awards evening.


Photographs by pbkphotography