13 March 2020

Illustrators Focus on Climate Emergency at Annual Forum

The annual Falmouth Illustration Forum, organised by MA Illustration: Authorial Practice students, took place last week (Friday 6 March), providing an opportunity for students and the wider illustration community to connect and hear from internationally-renowned guest speakers.

With a central focus on the Climate and Ecological Emergency, this year's speakers addressed the theme of Home from a diversity of perspectives.

BA(Hons) Illustration student Helen Trevaskis interviewed alumni Rebecca Cobb, a children's book illustrator, and Sarah Mears, co-founder of Empathy Lab, at the event. She said: "The day was full of varied, stimulating, challenging and at times moving perspectives on the challenge faced by humanity and the need for dramatic change.

"All stressed the possibility of creating space for productive dialogues and for action through creativity and the arts while never shying away from the notion that climate change is happening whether we like it or not."

MA Illustration: Authorial Practice student Kate Marriott said: "It was inspiriting to participate in a forum that opened up such an honest dialogue with the most important issue of our generation. The diverse range of speakers - artists, authors, activists - offered original angles onto what the role of illustration might look like in the climate crisis.

"The event really instigated and enriched discussion within the University and the wider community about the issue of ecological breakdown. I know myself and many others were galvanized into action, both as artists and global citizens."

Visual artist and MA Illustration: Authorial Practice alumnus Tom Hubmann added: "This forum was important to me as it explored the role of illustration in a global context in relation to the climate emergency we are currently experiencing. It was a chance to share ideas and approaches with a range of artists and interesting individuals and organisations."

The event was chaired by Café Dispruptif's director and XR activist Manda Brookman. Speakers at the event included:

  • Children's book illustrator Rebecca Cobb
  • Co-founder of Empathy Lab Sarah Mears
  • Dark Mountain Project's art editor Charlotte du Cann
  • Graphic Novelist Lauren Redniss, who joined via Skype from the US
  • Clive Russell and Miles Glyn from the Extinction Rebellion Arts Working Group
  • MA Illustration: Authorial Practice alumna Alia Sinha, who joined via Skype from India
  • MA Illustration: Authorial Practice alumna Poppy Robinson
  • MA Illustration: Authorial Practice alumnus Tom Hubmann