From the Book

Illustrators Nancy Slonims, Andrew Baker and Martin Ursell are hosting a joint exhibition at London’s Coningsby Gallery featuring woodcut prints, photo etchings and extracts from a children’s graphic novel series.

Illustrators Nancy Slonims, Andrew Baker and Martin Ursell are hosting a joint exhibition at London’s Coningsby Gallery featuring woodcut prints, photo etchings and extracts from a children’s graphic novel series.

From the Book is a collection of hand crafted and digital book illustrations by Baker, Slonims and Ursell, who are lecturers on Middlesex University’s illustration course.

Baker’s work is a collection of giclee prints presenting a ‘lucky dip’ of facts about various poets including Lewis Carrol, Spike Milligan and Ivor Cutler.

The series was inspired by a print Baker made for Happy Birthday Edward Lear, an exhibition of illustrations inspired by the nonsense poet’s work which he co-curated with animator Linda Hughes, and another he made for a Lewis Carrol-themed show curated by Middlesex University alumni. The prints were hand made using digital woodcuts, some of which are on display at the gallery (below).

Alongside Baker’s wood cuts and poetry trivia are extracts from a series of graphic novels Ursell is working on, based on Reynard the Fox stories – a set of fables about a red fox that date back to the ninth century and have been published in Dutch, German, English and Latin.

Ursell – who has illustrated books by Julia Donaldson, Roald Dahl and Dick King Smith – is releasing a three-volume graphic account of the complete history of Reynard the Fox, which he says “will span the thousands of years of English history throughout which they have remained popular.” A selection of cover illustrations and double page spreads from the volumes are on display alongside rough sketches.

Slonim’s work is a set of 10 photo etchings inspired by From First to Last, a collection of stories by author Damon Runyon set in 1930s New York. Slonim – who worked as a graphic designer at Pentagram – created a series of layered silkscreens inspired by the author’s work while studying at the Royal College of Art and twenty years later, decided to reinterpret the text through photo etchings.

Slonims, Baker and Ursell are clearly passionate about their craft. The exhibition includes some lovely examples of digital and hand crafted work, and offers an insight into the creative process behind three very different illustration projects.

From the Book is open until October 19 at the Coningsby Galley, 30 Tottenham Street, London, W1T 4RJ. For more information visit coningsbygallery.com. Middlesex University illustration staff profiles page is here.

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