Saturday, January 14, 2012
Barry Wilkinson: Illustrator
This is the brilliant dust jacket and some interior illustrations (below) of Alfred Hitchcock's Ghostly Gallery (Max Reinhardt, London: 1966). This mid-twentieth illustration in childrens' books has to be some of the most under-appreciated British art. These are by Barry Wilkinson who, as well as being a film buff extraordinaire and jazz afficianado, trained as a stained glass artist after WW2 later becoming the Head of Wimbledon College of Art, from the 1960s onwards he worked freelance as an illustrator and animator. He worked on some of the Paddington Bear books for Collins, for Puffin, illustrated for the Radio Times and for the BBC's Jackanory series. He died in 2007.
There is just something about this kind of illustration that appeals to me very strongly. It is just so vibrant, so inky and scratchy, sometimes reminiscent of rough printing, sometimes just a dynamic whirl. I'm surprised that this style hasn't yet been given a name and isn't collected as a 'movement'.
This particular book was one of a few that I picked up today as R and I took a bus ride along the Sussex coast through Emsworth to Chichester (the car was in the garage for the day) so you can expect to see more tomorrow.