We spoke to illustrator Suzanne Carpenter recently about her work and her first exhibition, ‘Bird Brain’, opening on Monday 28th November at Waterloo Gardens Teahouse.
After doing a Foundation course at Howard Gardens, followed by a Graphic Design degree at Gwent College of Higher Education (now Coleg Gwent), Suzanne has had a very successful career illustrating many books and brochures, and although she’s exhibited some of this work previously, the ‘Bird Brain’ exhibition is the first time she’s chosen to show illustrations around her own theme.
‘I usually work with the text, sent to me by the publisher, and I respond to it with an outline of ideas that we discuss with the editor. Much of my children’s book work is published by Gomer Press and it’s been a real privilege to work with editor Mairwen Prys Jones. This show feels indulgent, and it’s good to have the freedom to create my own exhibition’, says Suzanne.
‘This December I’m setting free a flock of brightly coloured birds and they’ve been offered a perch in the wonderful Waterloo Gardens Teahouse. Preening, patterned, printed and paying homage to folk art they come in a variety of sizes and are economical and easy to keep.’
Much of Suzanne’s previous illustration work has been for children’s books, one of which was Derek Brockway’s Duck and Starfish Make a Splash, and she has also produced an entire Foundation Year pack for schools, including a book, games and a tablecloth.
In Bird Brain Prints, Suzanne notes that she has ‘responded to her inner child’, using lots of colour, and creating beautiful patterns and designs. She chose Waterloo Gardens Teahouse as her exhibition space as she’s found it has a relaxed atmosphere and thought it would be the perfect venue to display her prints, many of which feature teapots and cups as well as birds.
The prints will all be available to order, (as are her other prints, available via Suzanne’s website), as well as wrapping paper and cards.
The exhibition runs from 30th November till 2nd Jan and all are invited to come and meet Suzanne for a glass of wine at the Teahouse on Friday 2nd December 6.15-8.30pm.
Find Waterloo Gardens Teahouse at: 5 Waterloo Gardens, Penylan, Cardiff, CF23 5AA and on twitter here.