I was asked, at short notice, to stand in for Nicholas Allen and run an illustration workshop for the South Shout Festival, organised by a group of
South London authors and illustrators - CWISL. It was an extraordinary event not just because of its outcome but also the enormous amount of voluntary work done by the CWSL group.
Here are some of the things I really enjoyed about the two days I took part in:
First, was meeting up with friends and colleagues I’d not seen for some time; Gillian Cross and Bridget Strevens-Marzo at the warm up session on the Friday morning,
I enjoyed working again with children from this area of
. I used to
regularly come to St Martins-in-the-Fields High School and work with pupils Shadowing
the Kate Greenaway Medal. At the South Shout Festival there were different aged
pupils from different schools, primary and secondary. Here they act out emotions they will later explore
in their stories and illustrations. London
There were four big cat groups. I was part of the Panthers and I enjoyed working alongside authors I hadn’t met before. Patricia Elliott led the Mad, Moody and Murky writing session with our group of Panthers.
Perhaps the thing that most impressed me was the how kind and helpful the older pupils were to the younger ones from different schools.
This was a festival that broke down barriers and encouraged creativity.
Then there was the inspired work my group produced, the effort they put into their drawings and the fine results. They did quick line drawings of their story settings as if seen through a binocular frame. They explored cross hatching,
shadow and silhouette.
They added captions
and drew a moment of action.
The boy who drew this picture thought he couldn’t draw but, with pencils and rubbers removed, found he enjoyed the freedom of a sharpie pen.
Impressive too was the voluntary turn-out on the Saturday; 70% of the pupils returned, the younger ones bringing along their parents and siblings. They had come to complete their stories and pictures. I helped the Panthers with their covers
and alongside me, illustrator Ann Marie Perks, helped children work with clay.
There was a real atmosphere of celebration at the end of the Festival, with the bookshop, Under the Greenwood Tree -
- Panthers photographed here have bought books by Sara Mussi -
the delicious food and, finally, a story telling session with Margaret Bateson-Hill and an awards ceremony.