University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Pedagogy, Language, Arts & Culture in Education (PLACE) Group Seminars > Making Picturebooks: What an Artist Brings

Making Picturebooks: What an Artist Brings

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The avant-garde movement of the early twentieth century represented a period of experimentation and reform that challenged the concepts of art and society held at that time. Art movements such as Constructivism, Dadaism and Surrealism are prominent during this period. Picturebooks produced at that time have strong graphic and innovative design features.

Referencing artists who made picturebooks during the early twentieth century such as El Lissitsky, Dieter Roth, Kurt Schwitters and Theo van Doesburg, this talk will investigate the process of making picturebooks from an artist’s perspective and place it in the context of semiotic and narrative theory. The minimal visual language of the picturebooks of the avant-garde period provides an alternative toolkit for makers of picturebooks. The talk will explore the opportunities and limitations that this toolkit presents for the process of designing characters, their environment and depicting their emotions in a narrative using a visual vocabulary of geometric shapes.

Laura Little is a Lecturer in Publishing at Bath Spa University. She holds a PhD in Children’s Picturebook Illustration from Cambridge School of Art and is a practicing book artist and illustrator. Her artist’s books have been acquired by national collections including the Tate and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

This talk is part of the Pedagogy, Language, Arts & Culture in Education (PLACE) Group Seminars series.

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