Our sixth Illustrator in Residence is Peony Gent, an illustrator working in experimental comics, found poetry and installations.
Over the course of a six-month residency beginning on 1 December 2019, Peony will create an archive of physical items from the King’s Cross area, from takeaway flyers to ticket stubs, as well as memories and opinions of local residents, students and office workers through a series of workshops, interviews and personal research.
The residency will culminate in a solo exhibition of new work at House of Illustration.
Peony says of her residency:
“I’ve always seen illustration and poetry as two sides of the same coin: they achieve the same results in different formats, and often come from a deeply similar place of communication of interior thoughts and inner lives to an outside wider group. I want to use this unique opportunity to offer up a proud and joyous celebration of the ability both mediums have to redefine what makes beauty, what makes something memorable, what makes something worthy or clever or profound.
I’m beyond delighted to work with an institution like House of Illustration on this, and hope I will do justice to all of the ground-breaking work the previous Illustrators in Residence have done before me. It’s an incredible opportunity to be able to work so closely with the gallery’s network of visitors and collaborators, and one I plan to exploit as fully as I can during my time here.”
The selection panel say:
“Peony has a fascinating voice, playing with the physical space between words and images and creating a unique genre of her own: 'illustration poetry'. I’m really excited to see what Peony creates during her residency at House of Illustration – the perfect playground for her practice in poetry and illustration to expand and flourish.” YiMiao Shih, Illustrator in Residence 2018, House of Illustration
“We all felt Peony's work was incredibly strong and found her practice, mixing illustration with short pieces of poetry, really unusual and interesting. I can't wait to see what Peony does with this residency, which will provide her with a great opportunity to develop her work and her process.” Matt Alagiah, Editor, It’s Nice That
“Each year we are inspired by the ambition and dynamism of the applications to our residency. This year’s applicants showed great commitment to research-based illustration practice and House of Illustration is delighted to continue to champion this with the support of the Barbara and Philip Denny Trust.” Olivia Ahmad, Curator, House of Illustration
Peony discovered her love of comic-making and the UK’s vibrant small-press and zine scene during her BA in Illustration at Edinburgh College of Art, then focused on experimental forms of comics during an MA in Visual Communication at the RCA. She has worked on a wide variety of editorial and community projects, including a series of experimental comics following a walk around the city of Wakefield for Index Festival and illustrations for the Dia a Dia project in Sao Paolo, and has been self-publishing comics and zines for over six years.
House of Illustration’s annual Illustrator in Residence Programme is made possible through generous support from The Barbara and Philip Denny Trust.