Census taking


Lucinda Rogers’ gentrification exhibition at the House of illustration is a must see. Each piece documents the changing nature of life in Hackney and the changing communities. Striking, energetic, thought-provoking and top quality as ever.




Loved this LAIKA exhibition at the Portland Art Gallery that opened last month. Families and solo visitors of all ages were going round, completely absorbed by the magical sets, frame drawings and cases full of props, puppets and special tricks.

all photos October 2017.

Jacqueline Ayer


The House of Illustration is very good at making me see artists I hadn’t heard of before (e.g. Linda Kitson), but who are very accomplished and had fascinating lives.


Jacqueline Ayer’s parents had moved from Jamaica to New York in the 1920s and Jacqueline grew up helping her father’s ad agency, the first aimed at African Americans.


Her observation for fabric and costume fed into her children’s’ illustrations when she moved to Bangkok in 1959, and after coming back to America in 1963 she founded a Thai textile line. I wish there’d been more room for her work with the Indisn government, her autobiography, and what was clearly a fascinating life, but I’d still recommend this to anybody.


Grand ambitions


There’s something magnificently crazy about writing a book on accordion playing round the world (useless fact – Haile Selassie had an imperial accordion troupe), but what great illustrations to fit the joie de vivre of such a project.

Feathered friends


Quentin Blake’s delightful series of extremely human birds. This could be creepy, but it’s absolutely not, mainly because underneath the wicked humour is a fundamental kindness and interest in people. On display at the House of Illustration in London.