Dusting up the memories
Released: Friday 21st September 2012 at 11:36
A CELEBRATED illustrator’s new book containing precious childhood memories of time spent with her grandmother before dementia took its toll, is now on display as part of an annual North East design exhibition.
University of Sunderland graduate Sara Gibbeson has created a collection of stories and illustrations of the happy times growing up before the days her grandmother, Gwen Gibbeson, could not even remember her name.
Sara, 38, a mum of two daughters, enrolled on a two year part-time Masters course in Illustration and Design, and has made the book called ‘Dusters’, as part of her final piece of coursework, which she hopes people of all ages can relate to.
The book is on display as part of the MA Design Degree show, in the university’s Design Centre Gallery, City Campus, Sunderland, until Friday, October 5.
This is not the first time Sara has had her work celebrated, earlier this year she was highly commended for the Macmillan Prize for Children's Books and had her work showcased at the Foyles Gallery, a legendary award-winning independent bookstore in London.
Sara, from South Shields, said: “In the later years of my Grandma’s life I saw her memory disappear to the point where she had no memory of who I was. After she died, I had this massive urge to do something about the wonderful memories she gave me from when I was a child and capture it, and share it with my children.
“It was a very personal thing and I wanted to see if I could light it up and share it with a new audience. I was very honest with myself and felt that if I got everything down on the page, they’d have a profound meaning to me, but it could also have the same affect on somebody else as well.”
Sara explains that the book is entitled Dusters because spending time with her grandmother, helping her with housework and laughing, was one of the happiest memories.
Before beginning her University course, Sara had spent her life working in adult education utilising her art and design skills helping people with learning difficulties. She has also worked for the Newcastle United charity working with schoolchildren across the region. However, she said she knew the time was right for her to study illustration and design at the University of Sunderland.
She said: “I have always been interested and tried to work around my skills but the University of Sunderland course has been fantastic. It has boosted my confidence and given me the belief to approach publishers in future without fearing a negative response.
“The course has certainly improved my skills and I’ve learned so much. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the University and don’t regret it one bit. I would encourage anyone to do it and follow their dream, it is never too late to learn.”
Sara currently lives in South Shields with her husband and two daughters, and for more information, visit, http://saragibbesonillustration.blogspot.co.uk/.
The MA Design Degree show is a collection of work that has been made by the students to showcase their talents.