Illustration - Autumn 2015 - Issue 45
Cover Illustration: Rena Gardiner
Welcome to Illustration 45. Human stories – the lives, passions, triumphs, tragedies and deaths of real people – are the foundation of fiction and illustration. Most illustrators keep sketchbooks to record moments that they can later incorporate in their work and, like all artists, learn from their own experiences and those of others they encounter. In this issue we explore the lives of several very different illustrators, some of whom made remarkable, sometimes self-sacrificing, decisions to further their art, while others struggled and ultimately failed to achieve their full potential. All, however, used their life decisions and the people they saw around them to fuel the best work they produced.
Rena Gardiner, lithographer, printmaker and book creator, dedicated her life and much of her home to making books that reflected the scenery and lives of those who lived in English counties, towns and houses. Her genius was to capture familiar landscapes and architecture and turn these into something new to be seen, shared and re-appreciated. Edward Wilson, however, recorded alien scenes and heroic achievements when he accompanied Captain Scott on his ill-fated last expedition to the Antarctic, producing images that were both profoundly moving, but also scientifically accurate and informative. Wilson’s death was a tragedy, yet his reputation survives, unlike that of Simeon Solomon, whose talent was feted by artists such as Edward Burne-Jones, yet has now been forgotten because of his catastrophic arrest for indecency and subsequent decline into alcoholism. His lyrical, sensitive Biblical illustrations, however, still resonate with those who
discover them. Satirists, meanwhile, often re-connect real people to fiction, and the characters from Alice in Wonderland have offered many famous cartoonists inspiration over the past 150 years. Illustration then covers the gamut from tragedy to comedy and we hope this offers something for everyone.