Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration
House of Illustration is now known as Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration. They have moved premises, restoring an Industrial Heritage Site, New River Head in Clerkenwell to create the national centre for illustration, opening in 2025.
Illustrators-in-residence Programme Report
Through the generous support of a grant in 2021 from The Barbara and Phillip Denny Trust, Quentin Blake centre for Illustration have been able to support two residencies, which took place across Autumn 2021, carrying into 2022. Owing to the organisation’s transition to become an organisation with a permanent home in Clerkenwell, these residencies differed from those of previous years. As part of these residencies, Illustrators-in-residence have worked at New River Head, the site of the future Quentin Blake Centre, to create illustration that responds and speaks to the heritage and history of this fascinating place, which will become the national centre for illustration.
Peony Gent – Illustrator in residence 2020
In 2020, House of Illustration received 70 applications for its 2020 Residency. After a competitive shortlisting and interview process, the selection panel (Olivia AhmadHOI Artistic Director, Matt Alagiah-It’s Nice That Editor-in-chief and YiMiao Shih-HOI Illustrator in Residence 2019) appointed Peony Gent.
Peony Gent is an illustrator, installation artist and poet based in London. She graduated with an MA in Visual Communication from the Royal College of Art in 2019 and from Edinburgh College of Art with a BA in Illustration in 2016. At the heart of Peony’s practice is making experimental comics in which she explores the interplay between text and image and celebrates seemingly ordinary everyday moments that might otherwise be forgotten.
YiMiao Shih – Illustrator in residence 2018/19
YiMiao Shih was the winner of the House of Illustration Residency in 2018 – our fifth resident since the programme began in 2014.
YiMiao Shih was born in 1985 in Taiwan. She holds a BFA in Fine Art from National Taiwan Normal University (Taipei, Taiwan) and received her MA at Royal College of Art, London where she currently lives and works. Her practice includes drawing, embroidery as well as video work.
Christy Burdock – Illustrator in residence 2017
Christy Burdock was the winner of the House of Illustration Residency in 2017 – our fourth resident since the programme began in 2014.
Christy, a recent graduate of the Royal College of Art, describes her drawings as reflecting ‘the narrative of the everyday’. She works by immersing herself in microsocieties, observing individuals and the relationships between them, and then layering this observation with metaphor and imagination to create new worlds. Her work incorporates motifs and archetypes from art history that emphasise her observations.
Nous Vous – Illustrator in residence 2016
Hackney-based collective Nous Vous were the winners of the House of Illustration residency in 2016 – our third residency to date. Nous Vous is Jay Cover, William Luz and Nicolas Burrows. They collaborate on a broad range of projects including illustration and graphic design commissions, exhibitions, curatorial work, publishing and teaching. www.nousvous.eu
David Lemm – Illustrator in residence 2015
Over six months David made regular visits to House of Illustration from his base in Edinburgh. He charted the changing landscape of Kings Cross, exploring how we perceive, navigate and quantify space in order to make sense of the world.
This research culminated in an exhibition of collage works that reflected David’s reconnection with handmade processes. The gallery became the centre point of his personal “map” of the area, with each wall depicting observations and experiences encountered during the residency, categorised into a library of shapes, symbols, times and spaces from which narratives could be read or created.
David says of his residency:
I think the biggest benefit has been the opportunity to thoroughly consider and develop my practice. The residency allowed me to de-construct and question everything I do and think about where I want my work to go in future.
I really felt the benefit of having dedicated time to give to research, idea development and the freedom to explore different approaches to making work. The residency is a fantastic opportunity to think more about what illustration is/can be, and a rewarding experience which will stick with and influence me for a long time.
Rachel Lillie – Illustrator in residence 2014
The generous gift from The Barbara and Philip Denny Trust opened up a wealth of opportunities for me during my residency at House of Illustration. As an illustrator, it’s not often you get the privilege of time post education; time to dig deeper, to explore and expand, to take risks and to experiment.