Last November a group of illustration students from Edinburgh College of Art visited the Seven Stories collections department and visitor centre as part of the Picturebook in Progress project.
The students viewed a range of archive material relating to how homes and families are represented in picturebooks, including work by Sarah Garland, Shirley Hughes and Kim Lewis, amongst others.
After returning to University, the students set to work on a brief to take a secondary character from one of the books they studied and illustrate a new home for them to inhabit. The project culminated in an exhibition of the new work that ran from 4 – 21 April at the College of Art.
There were some fantastically creative responses to the collection on display, including some surprising reinterpretations of classic picturebooks.
Yasmine Pirouz reworked Jan Ormerod’s Sunshine into a contemporary comic book, told from the point of view of a toy.
Laura Darling took a character from David Almond’s My Dad’s a Birdman and developed a new subplot in which he struggles to find a new job after the culmination of the book. In the ambiguous ending to her story, the character seems to be in the verge of a new life in the theatre.
After viewing artwork by Angela Barrett for The Snow Queen, Wenjin Lu took a minor character and imagined how their story might unfold.
Judith Kerr’s classic picturebook The Tiger Who Came To Tea has been interpreted in many ways. Maria Stoian’s version presents the tiger as a metaphor for depression, visiting the character of the mother unannounced.
As well as the illustrators featured here, other students took inspiration from work by Leila Berg, Helen Craig and Faith Jaques.
To see further examples of how the Seven Stories Collection has inspired illustration students, visit the Picturebook in Progress exhibition, on show at the Seven Stories visitor centre until June.