Contemporary Art in Cranbrook and the Weald

Telling Tales

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an exhibiton of childrens' book illustration by

six new designers: Ben Parker; Bethan

Hopkins; Emma Symons; Jenni Desmond;

Rachel Lovatt and Susanna Moores.

24th November to 10th December 2011

at Merriecroft, The Common, Sissinghurst

Visitors welcome without appointment:

Wednesday - Friday 2.30pm - 5.30pm and

Saturday 10.30am - 5.30pm.

Viewing available at other times by

appointment - ring Kristina on 07798 601427.


About Jenni Desmond

I am a London-based freelance illustrator and artist and have recently graduated with distinction from the Masters in Children's

Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art (APU). I did my degree in English and History of Art at Sussex University. I work

primarily with collage, pattern, acrylic paint and line. I love my work to be humorous, ridiculous and full of excitement, and it

tends to centre around relationships. I have recently exhibited at the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London,

and the Affordable Art Fair, London. My first picture book 'Red Cat Blue Cat' is due to be published in 2012. 

About Bethan Hopkins

"Originally from Kent, after leaving school I studied an art foundation course locally before taking a BA (Hons) in Costume for

the Performing Arts at the London College of Fashion. Although my time working in Costume was highly enjoyable, I decided

instead that I wanted to focus my ideas on portraying a narrative through drawing and painting. For the past year and a half I

have been working on a Master’s in Children’s Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art from where I graduated earlier

this year.  In my illustrations I use a range of traditional techniques; pencil drawing, charcoal, water colour and acrylic. 

Looking through my most recent work should give a sense of my love of the outdoors and of the English landscape. My interest

in the natural world extends beyond direct observation to the connection which can sometimes exist between a character and

his/her environment and the ways in which this might be conveyed. I am fascinated by the way – through atmosphere, colour

or narrative – a character exists in relation to their world. My current work sees these various influences, I hope, come together

in a series of images which juxtapose characters against their environment and create an atmosphere which is both evocative

and which resonates with the natural world."

About Rachel Lovatt

"I worked as a textile designer for many years before making the decision to concentrate on my own art, the craft influence still

weaves it's way into my pieces. I employ mixed media techniques, a combination of obsessive pattern , fragile drawing and

collage to create my visual language. I am heavily influenced by fairy tale and their shared themes such as love , betrayal, and

transformation. My animal characters personify human emotion , each one tells it's own story, enticing the audience into

another world that could be within a world,within a world......... I have just completed my MA in book illustration at the

Cambridge School of Art ."

About Susanna Moores

I was born in London and grew up with a love of drawing the natural world and creating storybooks. I embarked on my artistic

training at Chelsea School of Art and completed a BA at Coventry University, which led to an artistic career in fine art

photography spanning ten years. During this time I continued to develop my observational drawing skills, which eventually led

to a return to my first love of drawing and illustration, taking the form of picture books for children. Although much of my work is

line drawn or Painted in watercolour, I have also been developing an interest in limited edition etching and now exhibit at

several galleries in the UK, which include Roche arts gallery- Rye, Saffron art gallery- Battle and Cambridge Contemporary Arts


I have recently graduated from Professor Martin Salisbury’s MA in Children’s book Illustration course in Cambridge School of

Art, which was a fantastic experience that helped me a great deal to develop my work and understand the art of story telling

both visually and through the written word. In 2010 I was selected to provide cover designs for two successive catalogues for

Egmont publishers. The most recent of which was released in April 2011. I and my partner Stephen have recently returned to

London and I now have the joy of looking out over the stunning Blackheath every day as I work

About Emma Symons

"After completing a degree in Fine Art at the University of Wales in Cardiff I worked for an etching company in Italy before

setting up a studio in Mid Wales making my own etchings and running workshops.  I then qualified as a teacher and I have

worked in several different schools.  In 2009 I decided to pursue a passion for children’s book illustration by enrolling on the

MA course at Cambridge School of Art.  I gained my Masters at the beginning of 2011 and I am now developing illustrated

books for children alongside my work as an art teacher."