The British Library is mounting its first ever Spring Festival, celebrating the UK’s design industries.
Running over the first five days of March, the festival will feature the likes of Jamie Hewlett, who co-created Gorillaz (above), and illustrators Posy Simmonds, James Jarvis and Quentin Blake (a work from his series Welcome to the Planet Zog shown below).
Key events include a panel discussion on illustration on the evening of March 2, and another panel discussion on the emotional connection we have with typefaces, on the evening of March 5. Most of the panel events are ticketed, though there are quite a few free sessions too, including a spring market on the festival’s opening day for artists and designers to sell their work.
Besides promoting homegrown design, the festival aims to highlight the resources that the British Library can offer creatives, ranging from inspirational decorated manuscripts and woodcuts to free advice from its Business and IP Centre. “We want people to have fun, play with the collections, discover uncharted territory, find help to develop existing work in practical ways and maybe stumble across their next big idea,” says Frances Taylor, the library’s marketing manager for the creative industries.
Here's the line-up for the event:
Spring Market – Thursday 1 March
Kicking off the Festival will be the British Library’s first ever Spring Market. Skilled designers will form a creative collective, selling their wares and crafts on the Library’s busy St Pancras piazza.
Inspired by...patterns and textures – Thursday 1 March
A must-attend event for fashion and textile designers - British Library curators will reveal the wealth of patterns and textures that weave through the British Library’s collections; with visual inspiration from the Russian Avant Garde, Japanese woodcuts and the Olga Hirsch collection.
Make it, Sell it! – Thursday 1 March
Aimed at crafts and jewellery makers, attendees will network with other makers and meet a team of industry experts including Emma Bridgewater to gain advice on how to take designs to market, protect ideas and manage the production process and scale.
The Art of Illustration – Friday 2 March
A panel of experts including Quentin Blake, Jamie Hewlett, Posy Simmonds and satirical cartoonist Martin Rowson will select and explain their own choice of favourite illustrations from across different genres, cultures and styles.
Late at the Library – Illuminate!: A Celebration of Illustration – Friday 2 March
An after-hours pop-up exhibition of some of the finest illustrators working today including Jon Burgerman, James Jarvis (work shown below), Alice Melvin and Martin Rowson. This is a chance to soak up some of the sumptuous art held at the Library from medieval manuscripts to their modern-day counterparts, including the world’s largest comic. The evening will include masterclasses and a bar as well as live musical performance from Mr Scruff. In association with House of Illustration.
Vintage Knit-Work – Saturday 3 March
Have fun recreating one of the Library’s knitting patterns from our collections. We have thousands of patterns, from 1930s hair accessories to woollen hot pants from the 70s. Basic knitting skills are required. In partnership with Patons
Emotional Type – Monday 5 March
An inspirational panel, including Keith Martin from University of the Arts, will explore the persuasive and subliminal nature of type and its ability to evoke strong feelings and to connect its audience with places, culture and ideas.
Tickets for the festival can be bought on the British Library’s website.