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The 7th annual Illustration Research Symposium takes
the idea of ‘landscape’ as a starting point. Academic
papers, visual presentations, interventions and excursions
are invited to explore, map and interrogate the
ways that landscapes are conceptualised and understood
through illustration, both in contemporary practice and

From topographic engravings in 18thc travel guides to pen and ink
hand drawn maps in the endpapers of classic detective fiction, the
mass produced illustrated image mediates our collective understanding
of place. In recognising a view as ‘romantic’, picturesque
or even as abject, an illustrated image often lurks at the edges of
our idea of landscape, prompting these taxonomies of place.
National and regional identities are depicted through illustrated
representations of ‘chocolate box’ country villages, highland castles
or welsh valleys. On biscuit tins and place mats, bookjackets,
wallpaper and food packaging these are images in everyday use
forming the background to our daily lives.

Geographies of the last wild places- the prairie, the artic tundra,
the rainforest, the moon- exotic landscapes often encountered
only via the pages of an atlas or picture book. Our popular awareness
and understanding of these places is mediated through the
commissioned, constructed image.

The landscape itself is often illustrated - think of the long man of
Wilmington, and the ‘wild signs’ of graffiti on buildings, trees and
stones. History is inscribed into the landscape, and read out from
archeological data drawings and ethnographic documentation.
Future landscapes are imagined through the paratexts of book,
poster and colour plate. Science fiction illustration creates a set of
cultural blueprints for a utopian/dystopian vision on the horizon,
but also creates spaces to enact contemporary anxieties about the
natural world and our place within it.

The residing ‘genius loci’ or spirit of place is personified- for
example in Studio Ghibli’s ‘night walker’, or the ‘Green Man’ who
stalks through the forested collective unconscious of British folklore,
the idea of nature as sentient, knowing and seeing, pervades
the literary and visual cultures of landscape around the world.
Dreams and memories are often sited in particular places, and
locating the inner landscape through illustration is a form of
liminal practice connecting the imagined and the real. Conversely,
illustrating using the materiality of place is a form of alchemical
practice, sealing the world into an image, mustering a place into
the picture plane.

Illustration both enables us to ‘see’ landscape and positions us
within it, inscribing meaning and value into certain kinds of
landscape, creating cultural habitats for personal and collective

- Topographical and cartographic illustration
- Antiquarian landscape illustrations
- Relational and performative approaches to illustrating
the landscape
- Illustrating with the landscape
- Mapping non- spaces, edgelands and ‘the wild’
- Landscape as palimpsest
- Folklore and landscape
- ‘Nature’ personified
- Landscape and memory, psychogeography
- Illustrating the sublime
- Illustrative responses to urban landscapes
- Imagined villages, rural idylls
- Dreamscapes, imagined landscapes
- Realities & fictions of landscape in literature
- Narratives of the journey
- A sense of place
- Pigment, mark, and sign
- Experience and knowledge of landscape in childhood

Illustrators, Mapmakers, Printmakers, Travellers, Tourists, Antiquarians, Watercolourists, Ethnographers and Experimental Archeologists were invited to share their journeys through Illustration at our meeting place,
Edinburgh College of Art, 10th & 11th of November 2016.

The event was hosted by Edinburgh College of Art and organised by Jonathan Gibbs with support from Desdemona McCannon and Beatrix Calow (Manchester School of Art)

See the Speakers and Abstracts here

See the Symposium site here

Programme (Archived)

9.00- 9.45- REGISTRATION  + COFFEE  Main Lecture Theatre balcony

9.45- 10.00WELCOME


Main Lecture Theatre




10.00- 11.30SESSION 1A


Main Lecture Theatre

Looking at Landscape Illustration

1. Dr. Sheena Calvert Some Ethical Landscapes of War

2. Anne Howeson: Drawing and the Remembered City

3. Ian Neal  Time Was Away: A Notebook in Corsica

11.30- 1.00SESSION 2A


Main Lecture Theatre

National Identities in Print

1. Page Knox : Introducing the West to America: Thomas Moran’s Illustrations of Yellowstone and the  Grand Canyon in  Scribner’s Monthly Magazine

2. Neil Hadfield :The landscape in miniature

3. Lotte Crawford  :The Subterranean Modern

1.00- 2.00LUNCH

2.00- 3.30SESSION 3A


(Main Lecture Theatre)

Social Cartography

1. Mitch Miller: Territories in the Landscape. The Dialectogram, socially engaged illustration and sensing place

2. Luise Vormittag : Illustrating Alternative Urban Imaginaries

3 Judit Ferencz The Graphic Novel as an Interdisciplinary conservation method in architectural heritage



(Sculpture Court)

Landscape constructed

1. Katherina Manolessou: Looking through the frame: depictions of place in illustrated non‐fiction children’s books.

2. James Walker :Mapping embattled environments and transgressive landscape


3. Martin Ursell  : The Nature of the Beast (in landscape)
4. Robyn Phillips-Pendleton : Landscapes: Where Stories Begin

3.30- 4.00BREAK

4.00- 5.30SESSION 4A


(Main Lecture Theatre)

Approaches to illustrating the landscape

1. Argyro Tsavala: Practice Based discussion/ Iro Tsavala & Henry Martin

2 . Pamela ‎Smy  : Thornhill

3. Jane Cradock-Watson :Looking for Ophelia: An illustrated visual and sensual exploration of the Hogsmill River

4. Louise Weir : Great Expectations



(Sculpture Court)

The Haunted Landscape

1. Sabrina Scott ‎:Spelling the City Witch: Reimaging  Environmental Stories in WITCHBODY

2. Mireille Fauchon :A Tryal of Witches:Isolation and the Other within Lowestoft’s Narrative Landscape

3. Rachel Lillie The In Between: Landscape Image and landscape objects

5.30- 6.30

KEYNOTE Peter Wakelin

Main Lecture Theatre



9.30- 11.00


9.00-9.30 Coffee/Tea Main Lecture Theatre balcony and outside the Hunter Lecture Theatre



(Hunter Lecture Theatre)

The phenomenological landscape

1 Louise Bell :Finding Meaning in Fog: The liminal experience represented

2. Rachel Gannon Concrete and shadows: documenting Chandigarh

3. Eleanor Robinson-Carter : “Why are we walking around in circles?”



(Sculpture Court)

Landscape as metaphor


1. Catrin Morgan  Mythical Speech in Reportage Illustration

2. Rebecca Heavner The Agency of Landscape and Metaphor in Conceptual Illustration

3. Adrian Holme Landscape and light- alchemical interpretations of light in the works of Joseph Wright of Derby

11.00- 12.30SESSION 6A


(Hunter Lecture Theatre)

Narrative Landscapes

1. Andrew Baker : The Landscape in comics

2. Jonathan Gibbs  : The Great Outdoors- Artifice & adventure beyond the picture-plane

3. Bianca Tschaikner : Mapping imaginary worlds



(Sculpture Court)

The Tourists’ Gaze

1. George Jaramillo  ‘Wish you were here’: Alternative postcard views of the Hebrides

2. D.B. Dowd Landscape as Argument: Images of Place in  Spartan Holiday

3. Desdemona McCannon The Time Travelling Antiquarian: illustrated guide books to North Wales

12.30- 1.30LUNCHLUNCH

1.30- 3.00SESSION 7A


(Hunter Lecture Theatre)

Exploring Urban landscapes through illustration


1. Konstantinos Kounadis  Demapping Metropolises

2. Stephanie Black Plume of Feathers: Exploration the contemporary Moon Under Water through illustration

3.GARETH PROSKOURINE-BARNETT: Fractured Perspectives




(Sculpture Court)

Digging Deeper (Experimental Archaeology)

1. Leah Fuscoe  Tracing lines through a deserted medieval village.

2. Neil Stevenson Geologue

4 Sinead Evans Illustrating the Anthropocene: Fieldwork from the Norfolk Broads

3.00- 5.00

Keynote  talks + ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION (chair JG)

(Sculpture Court)

Angie Lewin, Patrick Benson, Mick Manning and Brita Granström



Wee Red Bar – Plume of Feathers, Jonathan Gibbs, Folklore Tapes

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