Rachel Lillie: Moving House

Illustrator in Residence Rachel Lillie's second blog post follows our big office move.


  • Rachel Lillie
  • Residency

Moving home is a time of enormous change. I often find belongings a comfort during these times. As House of Illustration said farewell to their old premises at Lincoln's Inn Fields, they say hello to their new home at Granary Square, and with this they welcome new beginnings.

On the morning of the move when I arrived, desks had been cleared and everything boxed up. I watched and drew the moving day, and also the new office space being set up. I felt a really significant moment as I drew the boxes being carried into the new space. This is the new permanent home for House of Illustration - gallery, event and education space, and more - and what a home it will be!

As the new house continues to change as the galleries take their shape, I begin to engage with the space on a different level. Along with drawing the brilliant workmen and the latest developments in the building works, I've also been taking rubbings and collecting ephemera and evidence of its development throughout. Offcuts of wood, woodchips, remnants of plaster and curious objects - I feel these are all part of its history in this time of change. I am yet to know what I'll do with them, they may just be feeding my own tendency to hoard!

I have been looking more closely at the materials and processes the builders are using to construct and sculpt the space, and from this I have attempted some small interventions. The builders have bee using a spray machine to paint the walls to get an even surface, which covers the entire room with a white spray.  I decided to mask of certain areas with shapes to make marks and small images from the settled paint. Although I enjoyed trying this out, I am much more fascinated by the unintended marks made by the builders.

These many textures that inhabit the site and the marks the builders leave behind - trails in the sawdust and debris, splattered plaster and paint - are all telling of what's been happening during each stage of the build. My fascination for this is really growing, as I build quite a collection of all these marks and patterns. I hope to show you more soon.