Last month I was absolutely honoured to be part of one of the best exhibitions I think I have ever curated! The Book Show, was the first (of hopefully many) exhibitions by Seaford Contemporary Illustrators and Printmakers (SCIP), and bought together a multitude of incredible illustrators and artworks inspired by children's literature!
SCIP is a creative collective of myself, Alice, alongside illustrators Joise Jo & Sally Elford. We want to bring a new, exciting & fresh series of events & exhibitions to our seaside town of Seaford, with the aim of helping to make Seaford a hub for contemporary arts! So The Book Show was our first opportunity to show the world what we can do with four kids in tow, limited budgets and a hell of a lot of determination!
For me personally, working with Benji Davies on this show was such an honor, I have long admired his illustration and fallen in love with his children's books over and over again with my children. We sold a small collection of limited edition prints of his artworks from 'The Storm Wale', 'The Storm Whale In Winter', 'Sudden Hill', and 'Grandads Island'.
This young man was completely bowled over by the prints on sale and was treated by mum and dad to his first piece of art! We, the SCIP team that is, were really emotional about it, being part of this child's first art purchase felt very special!
I was also really excited to be working with Karl James Mountford again too. We featured him on the blog a year or so ago, so to actually get him into an exhibition was such fun. His stunning book covers are one of the most shared images on Pinterest so we knew his prints would fly out, and they did!!
We met so many amazing people during the exhibition, new artists, local residents, company owners who wanted to support the event too. We had many people spare their time to come and read stories in our reading room, which was created by the amazing Arabian Tent Company.
These guys transformed the medieval undercroft into something so magical that visitors would spend hours down there reading together. It still amazes me that people and companies are so open to being part of something important and special. Katherine from the Arabian Tent Company was so enthusiastic, it was such a delight to work with her.
So back to the artwork, we had prints & products by over twenty artists including Alex T Smith, Lesley Barnes, Graham Carter, Josie Jo, Paul Thurlby, Sally Elford, Paul Cleden, Andy Smith and so many more! The artworks were inspired by so many different stories, we had a few Roald Dahl odes, Eric Carles classic ‘The Seed’ was reimagined too. There was Swallows and amazons, 101 Dalmatians, Sleeping Beauty, Where The Wild Things Are… Oh the list goes on!
Alongside the exhibition & live story times we also offered free mark making workshops for children! These went down an absolute storm with kids & parents! We felt it was really important to make this an event for the Seaford community, not simply an art exhibition. As a result families, who would perhaps not have come to see the artwork did! They enjoyed the class, they spent time in the space learning about the artwork, and fell in love with the prints! We will always offer free kids workshops, and hopefully in the future special workshop weekends too!
So we hope next year's show, which will have a different theme, will be bigger and better!! We will be launching ways that you can help SCIP continue our work in Seaford, and some pop up social networking events too! Watch this space!!!