Posy Simmonds is the author of three graphic novels; Gemma Bovery, Tamara Drewe and Cassandra Darke. In-conversation with Bill Feaver, she will describe the process of drawing and writing, the tyranny and blessing of deadlines, the importance of sketch books, bus rides and queues. A presentation of images will illustrate how her work develops; from first sketches to finished artwork.
Posy Simmonds is an author, illustrator and newspaper cartoonist. In a career spanning over 50 years, she has drawn mainly for The Guardian. Her graphic novels, Gemma Bovery and Tamara Drewe, were originally serialised in the paper. The novels have been translated into several languages, and both have been made into feature films - Tamara Drewe (2010), a re-working of Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd was directed by Stephen Frears. She is also a writer and illustrator of children’s books, including Fred, which became an Oscar-nominated film. Her latest graphic novel, Cassandra Darke, was published in November 2018.
Posy Simmonds was born in 1945 and grew up in Berkshire. She studied Graphic Design at the Central School of Art in London. In 1969, she started her first daily cartoon feature 'Bear' in The Sun, and also contributed to a variety of magazines and journals, including The Times and Cosmopolitan. She is renowned for her light, witty satire, and social observation. In 1972, she moved to The Guardian as illustrator, where she created a popular cartoon strip about middle-class couple, George and Wendy Weber. During this time she also produced graphic novels, including True Love (1981), and Gemma Bovery (1999), an adult reworking of Flaubert's Madame Bovary. She was named 'Cartoonist of the Year' in 1980 and 1981. In 1987, she began to write and illustrate children's books, and created Lulu and the Flying Babies (1988) and the very popular Fred (1987), the film version of which was nominated for an Oscar. Her most recent books are Baker Cat (2004), for children, and Literary Life (2003). Tamara Drewe, a book inspired by Thomas Hardy's Far From The Madding Crowd, was published in 2007.
Academic board member
William Feaver, for many years the art critic for The Observer, is also a painter and has been the curator of exhibitions ranging from George Cruikshank to the Tate retrospectives of Michael Andrews and Lucian Freud (subject of his most recent book), Constable (Grand Palais Paris 2003). His book 'Pitmen Painters' was recently adapted by Lee Hall for an award-laden play and he is at present organising a related exhibition in Vienna 'When We Were Young', a study of children's book illustration, did particularly well in Japan. His book, 'Frank Auerbach', was published in 2009.
Posy Simmonds: A Retrospective is at House of Illustration from 24 May - 15 Sep 2019.