University of Brighton Illustration Exhibition

Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft are delighted to partner with the University of Brighton to present this online exhibition of artwork by 2nd-year Illustration students. The students worked to a brief set by John Vernon Lord, whose work is currently on display at the museum in the exhibition Taking a Line for a Walk: John Vernon Lord and Friends.

John established the BA in Graphic Design and Illustration in the early 70s in what was then the Brighton College of Art. He is now Professor Emeritus at the University of Brighton, having been Professor of Illustration there from 1986-1999. An Honorary DLitt was conferred upon him by the University in 2000.

John gave the students the choice of illustrating one of two short texts that he has illustrated himself – The Fox and the Crow (one of Aesop’s Fables) or The Old Person of Pisa (by Edward Lear). Read on to find out more about the brief and to see the student’s work. Click on the images to see them full size.


John Vernon Lord

The Fox and the Crow

This fable is usually thought to be a caution against listening to flatterers. On the other hand, you could say that it also demonstrates that it is sometimes worth the device of flattery to get your own way.

Here is the fable of The Fox and the Crow in Ben Edwin Perry’s translation from the Latin of Phaedrus, a 1st Century Greek poet and Roman fabulist who wrote in Latin in around AD 40.

He who takes delight in treacherous flattery usually pays the penalty by repentance and disgrace.

When a crow, perched on a high tree, was about to eat a piece of cheese which he had carried off from a window, a fox who coveted the prize spoke up as follow: “Oh Mr Crow, what lustre your plumes have, how graceful your face and your figure! If only you had a voice no bird would rate higher,” `Anxious to show that he did have a voice, the foolish crow opened his mouth to sing and let fall the cheese, which the crafty fox immediately snapped up with eager jaws. Too late the crow, betrayed by his own folly, moaned his loss.

John Vernon Lord's illustraion of The Fox and The Crow

The Old Person of Pisa

Here is the limerick about The Old Person of Pisa by Edward Lear (1812-1888), who was natural history illustrator, a landscape artist, a travel writer, diarist and an author of nonsense. This is from his collection entitled, More Nonsense, Pictures, Rhymes, Botany, etc. (1872)

There was an old person of Pisa,
Whose daughters did nothing to please her;
She dressed them in grey, and banged them all day,
Round the walls of the city of Pisa.