On 16th March in the Educational Centre of the National Gallery/Square 500 the Drawing Words exhibition with some of the most exciting children’s book illustration to come out of the UK in recent years was opened.

The exhibition is commissioned by the British Council and shown in Bulgaria in partnership with the British Embassy. The ten illustrators showcased have been selected for their distinctly personal and unique work, to offer a snapshot of the vibrant work being produced today and to manifest what makes Illustration such a far reaching and powerful art form.

While Peter Rabbit, Paddington Bear and Winnie the Pooh are universally recognised and demonstrate the rich history of children’s book illustration in the UK, Drawing Words looks to the future with contemporary illustrations of long-established illustrators as well as artists who are at the beginning of their career.

The programme of the exhibition will include children’s workshops where young artists will have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the art form.

The exhibition is curated by award-winning artist and writer Lauren Child who is Children’s Laureate for 2017- 2019 – a position awarded once every two years to an eminent writer or illustrator of children’s books to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field.

“To me illustration has much in common with poetry. With careful selection of what will best convey meaning, illustration enjoys the challenge and luxury of being hyperselective, the distilling of thoughts or story into a single image, creating a piece that can be looked at over and over and interpreted differently each time”, shares Lauren.

The exhibition is designed by the innovative Etcetera Studio with graphic design by Regular Practice and features:

Jill Calder, Robert the Bruce (Birlinn)

Lauren Carlin, A World of Your Own (Phaidon)

Rebecca Cobb, Aunt Amelia (Macmillian Children’s Books)

William Grill, The Wolves of Currumpaw (Flying Eye Books)

Emily Hughes, Wild (Flying Eye Books)

Yasmeen Ismail, Time for Bed, Fred! (Bloomsbury)

Neal Layton, Emily Brown and the Thing (Hodder Children’s Books)

David Mackintosh, Marshall Armstrong Is New to Our School (HarperCollins)

Emily Rand, A Dog Day (Tate Publishing)

David Roberts, Tinder (Hachette)

The Drawing Words exhibition in Sofia is part of the programme with which the British Council and the British Embassy mark the 80th anniversary of the establishment of the first office of the British Council in Bulgaria and 140 years since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and the United Kingdom. It can be seen in the National Gallery/ Square 500 till 12th May 2019.

The material and the photos are provided by the National Gallery.