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Drawing on the Past: Emily Sutton

31st May 2018

LOTS - Emily Sutton

York-based illustrator Emily Sutton has just won the prestigious Margaret Mallett Picture book award for her illustrations in LOTS: The Diversity of Life, written by Nicola Davies.

A graduate from Edinburgh School of Art and Rhode Island School of Design, Emily’s work has garnered a huge following since her graduation ten years ago; most noticeably her textile designs with St Judes, children’s book illustrations. Inspired by the relics of a bygone era and afternoons immersed in the contents of the Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh, she illustrated a children’s book for the V&A Museum in London - now in its second edition. Emily has had worldwide solo exhibitions; recently most notably at Town & Country and at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in early 2015. She has also worked with Faber & Faber, Penguin Random House and Walker Books.

For Yorkies, we can trace her work locally too. Her Open Studio following has been huge over recent years and, for many, one of the highlights of the whole showcase. She has also illustrated amazing campaigns for Bettys and other prestigious York brands. Coming together with Zoologist and well-known writer Nicola Davies, Emily produced the glorious LOTS: The Diversity of Life on Earth. Emily was introduced to the world by her editors at Walker Books for their first work together, Tiny: The Invisible World of Microbes. Emily was originally a huge fan of the zoologist as a child when Davies was a presenter alongside Chris Packham and Terry Nutkins on the Really Wild Show.

Emily says of the award “was a huge honour as it was in memory of Margaret Mallett: a very special woman who placed a lot of value in children’s books, particularly non fiction. I had the pleasure of meeting her husband at the awards ceremony and hearing about her invaluable contribution to the English Association (an organisation which seeks to promote children’s literacy and English education).”

After this prestigious award, things show no sign of slowing down for Emily as she has another book with Nicola coming out in July: The First Book of the Sea; more work with Bettys; a sequel to the Tale of the Castle Mice by Michael Bond and a few more book projects in the pipeline alongside a show with Angie Lewin at The Townhouse in Spitalfields, London in September: both will be launching new textile designs for St Jude’s to the theme of Flora.

So, if you haven’t seen Emily’s work, we implore you to seek her out, to fall in love with her mystical world, scavenged from junk shops and Victorian nurseries – her ode to the innocent and to a bygone world.

Emily Sutton Website
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