Saturday, 29 March 2008

Reader in illustration

I bumped into Martin Salisbury in Borders. Martin has become one of the leading experts on children's book illustration - even though he always seems reluctant to think of himself as such. He is also Reader in Illustration (which sounds a little baffling) and Pathway Leader on the excellent MA in Children's Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University. The criminally under appreciated Ronald Searle attended Cambridge School of Art and Martin was responsible for bringing an exhibition of Searle's work to the Ruskin Gallery recently.

I always come away from conversations with Martin re-enthused about illustration. He is Illustration Man (though I'm not sure what his super powers might be). He is always full of stories about new books and exhibitions and today was telling me he has been filmed for an upcoming TV programme about illustration. And tomorrow he is off to Bologna for the Children's Book Fair.

In the evening I met up with Chris Riddell and Paul Stewart at the ADC Theatre in Cambridge after their Wordfest event, cycling past hordes of students in gowns queuing to receive their degrees. Philippa Dickinson, the MD of Random House Children's Books was with Chris and Paul (which shows how much Random value the pair of them). We had a glass of wine and a chat before she had to leave, during which Rosemary Sutcliff's name came up and Philippa began a sentence 'I remember Rosemary telling me...'

It seems silly to say it, given that I'm a writer myself, but I'd sort of forgotten Rosemary Sutcliff was a real person that someone could remember talking to. I was deeply impressed.


  1. I remember talking to Rosemary many many times - she spent every Christmas with us for many years. And as her godson and cousin I was frequently at her house. Then with my own children. Anthony Lawton

  2. How amazing. Thanks for getting in touch. What an lovely memory to have. She was a wonderful writer