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Interpretation: Mireille Fauchon & Gary Embury

The Interpretation illustration conference 18-19 September at Arts University Bournemouth is hosting a great array of speakers covering a fascinating variety of topics. We ‘re asking the presenters a couple of questions about illustration, the event and what they’ll be doing. First off, Mireille Fauchon and Gary Embury.

Mireille Fauchon 

Illustrator, Mireille Fauchon has a B.A Graphic Design from Camberwell College of Art in 2005 and an M.A Communication Art & Design from Royal College of Art in 2008. She is a visiting tutor and associate lecturer to several institutes.

Image by Mireille Fauchon

Tell us a bit about your presentation:

I will be taking with Richard Embray of Four Corners Books about the process of commissioning and working on the The Prisoner of Zenda (2011). The novel is part of the Familiars Series, which features artists responses to classic short stories and literature.

What’s the best element of attending an illustration conference?

Listening to others speak!

Is illustration research important?

More than important, it is vital. It is an incredibly exciting and challenging time to be involved with illustration. The subject is in a state of flux; the role and potential of the medium seems to be ever expanding, it is essential that illustration is recognised as worthy of serious academic and professional debate.

 Image by Mireille Fauchon


Gary Embury

Gary Embury is a senior lecturer at the University of the West of England, and an illustrator with over 20 years experience. Currently involved in documentary illustration and reportage projects, he co-delivers the reportage drawing programme at The Topolski Studio in London. He is editor in chief of Reportager.org an online journal showcasing and initiating projects in the area of drawn reportage.

Image by Gary Embury

Tell us a bit about your presentation.

I’ll be talking mainly about reportage drawing and the Chronicle residency programme. We have just started the 2nd residency following the successful pilot which ran last year. As well as the work of the residents I’ll also show a short section of the documentary film, which is being edited as we speak about the residency and Feliks Topolski’s legacy.

I’m interested in how on the spot drawing can be used to give a unique perspective on current events and how artists interpret this through different methodologies and visual languages. The Residency programme strives to develop the artists’ visual languages but also open up new ways of working and responding to events.

Activities such as Peloton Drawing, and GPS drawing push the boundaries of what reportage drawing can be. Recent work with Bristol City Council involving students live drawing in council has highlighted the advantages of having artists present during inquiry days. The artists’ presence changed the way in which the working groups developed ideas. Some were visualised giving rise to new ideas. Other artists recorded the event producing a historical document of the proceedings.

This presentation will help to show different approaches artists take to record the same location and subject, and how documentary drawing and reportage can be used by artists to clarify and focus on issues through journalistic enquiry.

The filming of the documentary had an impact on the artists themselves who were in part the subject of the film and audience and affected the way in which the filmmaker engaged with the filmmaking process, making comparisons with the nature of documentary film and reportage documentary drawing.

What’s the best element of attending an illustration conference?

Meeting other speakers and delegates, discussing ideas, initiatives and possible future projects. Being confronted and surprised by new ideas.

Is illustration research important?

Very important, if Illustration is to remain current and meaningful and to fulfil a function then it needs to constantly interrogate question and renew itself and be open to discussion, ideas, concepts, methodologies and new technologies. If illustration remains only as a commissionable commodity then it will be forever a servant and not a master.


18-19 September 2014, AUB, Bournemouth – Book Now

Interpretation is the theme of the latest VaroomLab symposium on illustration, this year held in partnership with Arts University Bournemouth. Illustrators, students and academics are all welcome.

Interpretation seeks to explore ways in which illustrators, interpret, re-interpret and misinterpret information through illustration practice.

This event will celebrate and investigate the potential exciting creative strategies and possibilities for practitioners to move minds, challenge norms and influence the ways in which we the see the world and connect with it.

You are invited to meet fellow illustration enthusiasts over a two day symposium in September in the seaside town of Bournemouth and enjoy the talks presented by practitioners and academics on illustrating the Prisoner of Zenda, Lucien Freud’s early illustration work, gender representation in illustration, interpretations of error, an exploration of how visual storytelling is vital in how we engage with the world, the role of exchange between artist and scientist in natural history illustration, panel discussions and more.

Speakers include Bill Prosser, Chris Campe, Joel Lardner & Paul Roberts, Paul Burgess,Mireille Fauchon & Four Corners books, Andrew Kulman, Gary Embury and Thomas Barwick. Guest speakers animator, Cyriak (‘a real renaissance man albeit with a trademark surrealist attitude, psychedelic influence and love of fractal geometry and orders of magnitude’, Varoom) and Marcus Oakley.

You can register for tickets here. Special offer accomodation can be sourced here.

Tickets for Interpretation are now on sale, priced as follows:

  • £35 Students
  • £90 Standard Ticket
  • £75 Early Bird (Closes August — Limited availability)
  • £50 VaroomLab Members (Limited availability)

Symposium times:

Thursday 18th September

11.30-12.30pm Registration

12.30 VaroomLab – Welcome & Introduction to the Symposium

Lunch & Refreshments will be provided during the Symposium

Friday 19th September

9.30- 10.00am Coffee

First speaker 10.00am

3.30pm Finish


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