My Benches

Artists

 

Andrea Joseph

Andrea Joseph took inspiration from Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole series to create a BookBench depicting a love for reading.  “This bench was inspired by my love of reading as a child. I wanted to incorporate Sue Townsend's The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 into my BookBench design as I loved to read this book when I was a girl of the same age.”
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Axel Scheffler

Axel Scheffler created the From the Gruffalo to Scarecrows: The World of Axel Scheffler and Julia Donaldson BookBench, bringing the pair’s beloved characters together for the first time.In the artist's words: “It is a pleasure to support the National Literacy Trust in this imaginative public celebration of storytelling in London. I hope many families enjoy the bench and that it sparks their interest in stories over the summer.”
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Beth Quinton

Beth Quinton is a scenic painter whose diverse work includes film, advertisements, theatre, retail and exhibition. She trained at Loughborough University and Bristol Old Vic. Beth is an associate artist with Emergency Exit Arts, a London-based outdoor arts company who enhance places, enable people and astonish audiences.
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Charles Bezzina

Charles Bezzina took inspiration from Captain Scott’s Autobiography to create the Frozen in Time BookBench depicting the famous explorer’s last journey to Antarctica.In the artist's words: “I have always been fascinated to capture in my art the desolate landscapes of the Arctic and Antarctica and have recently been to the high Arctic. During the BookBench creation I used this experience to help me illustrate and to depict Captain Scott’s last journey in Antarctica.”
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Charlotte Brown

Charlotte Brown is a Manchester-based Artist who works across the North West. Her business, 'Fresh Canvas', leads her to undertake commissions in a variety of settings such as hospitals, schools, museums and prisons. Charlotte has been involved with a large number of national animal parades over the last ten years, and this year she has painted two BookBenches for Books about Town. She has brought the much-loved classic Pride and Prejudice to life as well as the modern novel Brick Lane by Monica Ali.
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Chris Riddell (original illustration) Created by Gerard Strong


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Cressida Cowell (original illustrations) Created by Gerard Strong

Cressida Cowell is a British author best known for her How to Train Your Dragon series which has been adapted for screen by DreamWorks Animation. Cressida produced the design for the How to Train Your Dragon BookBench, which was then painted on by scenic artist Gerard Strong.
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Darel Seow

Darel Seow is a storyteller who illustrates the tales of the natural world through his unique brand of wry wit. He is an avid librocubicularist and reads too many books meant for children in a bid to tell the best stories to everyone he meets. Darel's thoughts on his BookBench: “It's an absolute delight and honour to visit the tale of everyone's favourite nanny and have my work displayed on the streets of London. Every day is an adventure waiting to happen and you are invited to share in Jane and Michael's magical first encounter with Mary Poppins!”
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David Dean (original illustrations) Created by Jane Headford

David Dean is an illustrator. He has illustrated many titles, including four of the Laura Marlin series by Lauren St John. Jane Headford used his illustrations to bring this series to life on a BookBench.Jane Headford trained as a scenic artist in London, and paints sets, animatronics and murals for theatre, film and museums. She is now art director at Dartura in the Pennine town of Holmfirth and has created four BookBenches for Books about Town.
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David McKee (original illustrations) Created by Giles Boardman

Giles Boardman created the Elmer the Patchwork Elephant BookBench based on original illustrations by author David McKee. 
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Deven Bhurke

Deven Bhurke created The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy BookBench. Deven is a commercial artist with a special interest in pencil sketching and photography. Deven's inspiration: “Designing and painting the BookBench has been an opportunity to creatively exhibit the absurdity from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in the form of an eclectic collage united by a splash of bright colours.”
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Di Ralston

Di Ralston studied at St Martins School of Art and has exhibited in the UK, USA and Germany. She is the co founder of The Painted Pigs Company. Di took inspiration from the classic science fiction novel The Time Machine by HG Wells to create a unique BookBench for Books about Town. 
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Freyja Dean

Freyja Dean is a freelance designer and anatomical model maker for the Royal College of Surgeons. Freyja studied Scientific and Natural History Illustration BA before her MA in Art and Science at St Martins. She is the artist behind our glamorous BookBench based on James Bond by Ian Fleming.
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Gordon Allum

Gordon Allum created the Jeeves and Wooster BookBench. Gordon is a multidisciplinary artist/designer/engineer/pyrotechnist and technician and an associate artist with Emergency Exit Arts, a London-based outdoor arts company, who enhance places, enable people and astonish audiences.
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Helen Oxenbury (design) Created by Gerard Strong

Gerard Strong brought to life Michael Rosen’s wonderful story We’re Going on a Bear Hunt with original illustrations by Helen Oxenbury.   
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Hillside School

The students of Hillside High School in Bootle, Liverpool have painted a BookBench inspired by Charles Dickens, naming the bench Charles Dickens in Liverpool. This is the only BookBench on the trail that has been painted in a school, and we hope it inspires many other young people to read for pleasure. 
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Ivan Liotchev

Ivan Liotchev created a BookBench based on Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Ivan was born in Bulgaria and grew up in the USA. He is a fine artist and Director of the International Collaborative Drawing Project in Manchester. Ivan is an associate artist with Emergency Exit Arts, a London-based outdoor arts company who enhance places, enable people and astonish audiences. 
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James Mayhew

James Mayhew is the creator of the much-loved Ella Bella Ballerina and Katie series, and has kindly created a BookBench based on his own Katie in London. James' inspiration: “This bench celebrates 25 years of Katie books and her discoveries in this splendid city. I wanted to make the BookBench fun for children, and I hope they'll sit for a while, look at Katie's map of London and then follow in her footsteps on their own adventure!”
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Jane Veveris Callan

Jane Veveris Callan is a painter, printmaker and illustrator based in Bath. She has painted more than 20 of her designs on sculptures for public art projects; from Olympic mascots to gorillas and now a BookBench! She was inspired by Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, with a BookBench that interprets the ‘tree of life’ metaphor with which he explained the connection between all organisms.
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Jeremy Banx

Jeremy Banx’s award-winning cartoonist’s gags appear daily in the Financial Times and he has worked for Private Eye, the New Statesman and Punch.In the artist's words: “Just flip the pages. The people will turn their pages and the pigeons will fly away.”
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Kanako and Yuzuru (original illustrations) Created by Mike Snowdon

Mike Snowdon is a graphic artist based in Liverpool, UK. His work ranges from hand-made craft to high-end digital through the mediums of illustration, design and animation. Mike has created a BookBench inspired by Alex Rider by Anthony Horowitz, with original illustrations by Kanako and Yuzuru (orginal illustrations).
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Laura Elizabeth Bolton

Laura Elizabeth Bolton created a stunning Peter Pan BookBench for KPMG, which gave her another opportunity to interpret the world from another perspective. Laura's inspiration: “London is a city that has inspired a thousand tales to take us to (those) magical places beyond the unknown.”
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Lauren Child (original illustrations) Created by Jane Headford

Lauren Child is the author and illustrator behind the Clarice Bean series and the Charlie and Lola picture books. She won a Greenaway Medal for the first Charlie and Lola book, I Will Not Ever, NEVER Eat a Tomato. She designed a BookBench based on the Clarice Bean series, brought to life by Jane Headford. Jane Headford trained as a scenic artist in London, and paints sets, animatronics and murals for theatre, film and museums. She is now art director at Dartura in the Pennine town of Holmfirth and has created four BookBenches for Books about Town.
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Lucy Dalzell

Lucy Dalzell is a freelance illustrator based in London. Her artwork is playful and mostly inspired by people, places and hidden stories, often with a focus on transitioning landscapes. She created a BookBench depicting Shakespeare's London. 
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Michele Petit-Jean

Michele Petit-Jean is an illustrator, puppeteer and multidisciplinary artist, with many years’ experience in participatory arts engagement. Michele is an associate artist with Emergency Exit Arts, a London-based outdoor arts company who enhance places, enable people and astonish audiences. He has created a BookBench based on Samuel Pepys’ Diary, depicting snapshots of London history like the Great Fire of London.
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Michelle Heron

Michelle Heron brought the much loved bear to life with a BookBench based on A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond. In the artist's words: “I wanted to create a place where people can stop rushing about and sit down to eat their sandwiches with Paddington Bear and keep him company while they ponder their next adventure. With a movie on its way, Paddington needs all the rest he can get before things get busy!”
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Mik Richardson

Mik Richardson is the artist behind the dreamy The Wind in the Willows BookBench. Mik has completed over 300 murals and held countless graffiti workshops with various schools, youth groups and companies, and has been involved in a number of public art projects such as Go Go Gorillas. Mik's inspiration: “I loved the idea of lazy summer days of a bygone era and The Wind in the Willows was a fitting example of just such a story for the literary trail. I also love to depict a story with pictures and hope it inspires the viewer to want to read the book.” 
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Nick Sharratt (original illustrations) Created by Jane Headford

Nick Sharratt has illustrated almost 250 books, many of them written by Jacqueline Wilson. He has also written 40 of his own books. He was the official illustrator for World Book Day 2006 and has a fellowship from the Hereford College of Art. Jane Headford used Nick’s illustrations to paint a BookBench depicting Jacqueline Wilson’s most famous characters.Jane Headford trained as a scenic artist in London, and paints sets, animatronics and murals for theatre, film and museums. She is now art director at Dartura in the Pennine town of Holmfirth and has created four BookBenches for Books about Town.
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Oliver Dean

Oliver Dean is an illustrator, author and artist from Essex. He works across a wide spectrum of art projects including community groups, commercial and private commissions. He created two BookBenches for Books about Town, based on science fiction classic The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham and the young adult Noughts and Crosses series by Malorie Blackman. 
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One Red Shoe

Fiona and Neil Osborne (One Red Shoe) have been designing and painting murals in and around Cheshire for the last 12 years, working in public spaces, businesses and private homes - producing a portfolio ranging from gable-end murals to complete, artistically themed rooms and creative interiors. They have created two BookBenches for Books about Town: Mrs Dalloway by Virgina Wolf and The Railway Children by E Nesbit. They chose the dramatic train-stopping scene for the latter, with the oncoming train and clouds of steam depicted on the reverse of the BookBench.
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Paraig O'Driscoll

Paraig O’Driscoll was born in Ireland and has lived in Leigh On Sea for several years. He is an artist, photographer and secondary school teacher with a keen interest in both science and the arts. He created a BookBench inspired by A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. Paraig's inspiration: “Viewers, I hope that you enjoy this visual tribute to Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time as much as I loved creating it. Just don't get too close to the black hole... the gravitational force is very strong!”
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Paul Kidby

Self-taught artist Paul Kidby was born in West London in 1964.  He left school at 17 and worked as a commercial artist before becoming a freelance illustrator in 1986. He is best known for being the ‘artist of choice’ for the award-winning writer Sir Terry Pratchett, and has designed the Discworld book jackets since 2002. He has created a BookBench based on his own Discworld illustrations. 
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Paula Bressel

Paula Bressel is a young artist with a background in fine art who moved to London from Spain to study fashion illustration. She enjoys the beauty of art in any form as a way of communication. She has created a BookBench inspired by Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding.
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Quad Digital Mandii Pope

New Zealand-born artist Mandii Pope paints in a variety of styles from spin art, beach landscapes, cityscapes, kiwiana, abstracts to illustration with many works in private and commercial collections all over the world. Mandii Pope created The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe BookBench based on designs by Lucy Charlewood at Quad Digital
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Rachel Wells (original illustrations) Jenny Hilborne (design) Painted by Sarah Jane Richards

Usborne's That’s Not My BookBench was designed by Jenny Hilborne at Usborne Publishing based on illustrations by Rachel Wells. It was painted by Sarah Jane Richards, a freelance artist whose work includes art commissions for the public and private sectors. An exhibiting artist with a Fine Art degree in painting, her work also encompasses sculpture, design, special events, workshops and teaching.
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Rae Smith (original illustration) Created by Gerard Strong

The Olivier and OBE award-winning British designer Rae Smith works regularly in a wide variety of styles and genres. Rae Smith’s theatre designs are frequently seen in Britain in the West End, at the National Theatre, the Royal Court, the Lyric Hammersmith, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Theatre de Complicité and in a variety of experimental theatre companies.Scenic artist Gerard Strong created the War Horse BookBench based on Rae Smith's original illustrations.
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Ralph Steadman

Ralph Steadman is a British artist known for his work with American author Hunter S Thompson. He is renowned for his political and social caricatures and cartoons and picture books. He won a Francis Williams Book Illustration Award for his illustrations for Alice in Wonderland, and has created a BookBench based on Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll.In his own words: “I chose Alice because I had illustrated Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. I thought that the chessboard augmented the sense of space and perspective within the design and made the bench graphically appealing.”
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Ruth Green

Ruth Green graduated from St Martins School of Art in Illustration and later obtained a BA Hons in Fine Art (painting). After working in advertising for many years she began working freelance and exhibiting her landscape paintings, and is now a partner in The Painted Pigs Co. Ruth brings an exotic twist to Books about Town with a BookBench based on Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book
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Scriberia

Scriberia is a London-based company made up of illustrators, animators and graphic facilitators, who work with clients around the world, to visualise thinking and bring ideas to life. They have produced a BookBench based on Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary, using their unique style to bring this impressive piece of work to life.  
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Sian Storey

Sian Storey painted the magical Peter Pan BookBench, for Mishcon de Reya. In the artist's words: “The BookBench shows the limitless power of children's imagination and highlights the need to nurture creativity in the young.”
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Sophie Green

Sophie Green is the artist behind the BookBench inspired by Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby.
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Theodor Seuss Geisel (artwork) Created by Jane Headford

Theodor Seuss Geisel was an American writer and illustrator. He wrote over 46 children’s books including the beloved The Cat in the Hat. He wrote books that make people think and imagine, so we hope the BookBench painted by Jane Headford does the same! Jane Headford trained as a scenic artist in London, and paints sets, animatronics and murals for theatre, film and museums. She is now art director at Dartura in the Pennine town of Holmfirth and has created four BookBenches for Books about Town.
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Thomas Dowdeswell

Thomas Dowdeswell is a contemporary artist and social commentator and has exhibited across the UK, France and the United States. He selected 1984 by George Orwell because of its rallying cry against the corrupting powers of the mass media, boundless corporate greed, sinister or misguided government policy and the constant threat of war and terror.
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Tom Adams (artwork) Created by Mandii Pope

New Zealand-born artist Mandii Pope paints in a variety of styles from spin art, beach landscapes, cityscapes, kiwiana, abstracts to illustration with many works in private and commercial collections all over the world. Mandii Pope created two BookBenches for the Books about Town trail: Hercule Poirot and the Greenshore Folly by Agatha Christie (design by Tom Adams) and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis.
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Trevor Skempton

Trevor Skempton is an artist and architect, based in North Wales and Liverpool. He created two BookBenches for Books about Town: The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde and the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. His BookBenches feature a distinctive hard-edged drawing style, derived from years of doodling around the edge of technical drawings. 
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Valerie Osment

Valerie Osment is a Professional Visual Artist based in Essex whose work has painting and illustration at its core. With a BA Hons in Graphic Design and Illustration, she exploits multiple media and visual art forms to create work in 2D or 3D form. Valerie has created two BookBenches for Books about Town based on Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle and Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne. 
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