Last autumn the Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair (CCBF) invited me to make some pictures for the Chen Bochui Illustration exhibition. The theme of the exhibition was ‘Once I was a child’ and being short of time I decided to interpret this very simply. I did some doodling about my own childhood and the thing that kept coming up was RABBITS: toy rabbits, real rabbits, rabbits in books, drawing rabbits,being a rabbit, eating rabbit food… I really did like rabbits.
This screenprint shows the best of my several rabbit costumes, which was a turquoise towelling hoodie with foam ears sewn on by my mum. It felt quite strange and self-indulgent to make a character so directly based on myself.
I also made a print about playing rabbit football with my brother (no actual rabbits harmed – or involved – in the playing of this game) and the two were shown during the fair in November alongside work by over fifty illustrators from 13 countries – so it was lovely to hear my pictures had been given second prize!
All the pictures are now part of the collection of the Baoshan International Folk Art Museum: their website shows all the winning artwork and some information on the exhibition.
This week the Biennial of Illustrations (BIB) opens in Bratislava. Amazingly, IBBY UK and ICPBS (International Centre for the Picture Book in Society) have chosen to include The Girl with the Parrot on her Head in the UK submission.
Each country puts forward up to 15 illustrators and work from all the nominated books will be exhibited from 9th September to October 29th at the Slovak National Museum. Some people will win golden apples and other prizes, but those sound extremely bad for your teeth – probably best just to be in the exhibition?
ICPBS and IBBY have also organised two exhibitions at BIB which aim to raise awareness of the experiences of child migrants. The Migrations exhibition is made up of over 300 postcards featuring images of birds and messages from illustrators from all over the world (including mine, below).
If, like me, you can’t make it to Bratislava you can explore the postcards and messages in this interactive map (mine’s pinned to Birmingham so I think it must be done by postmark). The exhibition is expected to tour after BIB. Worcester University Illustration tutors have also created (larger) new work on the theme of Migrations.
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Tagged awards, BIB, Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava, birds, books, Bratislava, exhibitions, migrations, postcards, the girl with the parrot on her head, Walker
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Tagged ALPHONSE, ALPHONSE THAT IS NOT OK TO DO!, books, crafts, events, festivals, googly eyes, Greenwich Book Festival, London, monster puppets, monsters, Natalie and Alphonse, paper puppets, photos, puppets, workshops
I was so extremely happy to hear that The Girl with the Parrot on her Head is an Honor Book in the Ezra Jack Keats Awards. It’s especially lovely because Keats’ books are glorious, and because these awards are given to “books that portray the universal qualities of childhood, a strong and supportive family, and the multicultural nature of our world.”
I was sorry to miss the ceremony in Mississippi, but representatives from Candlewick were there and kindly read out my thanks and posted my award – which I had no idea was an actual shiny thing!
Many thanks to the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation (which does all kinds of excellent stuff) and to Walker and Candlewick for publishing this quite strange book.
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Tagged babies, Becky Palmer, books, events, exhibitions, Hatched!, Hilda, Hilda and the Runaway Baby, libraries, pigs, printing, printmaking, The Hive, vegetables, Worcester, workshops