Exhibition at the Barbican Library

You are invited to
an exhibition of the work
of author, illustrator and paper engineer
John O’Leary
at the Barbican Library foyer
1 November – 27 November 2013

Its Magic 3

Wed 6 November, 6.15 – 8.30 pm

Look forward to seeing you there!
– refreshments provided –

Opening Hours for the exhibition are:

Mon & Wed – 09.30-17.30 , Tues & Thurs – 09.30 – 19.30
Fri – 09.30 – 14.00, Sat – 09.30 – 16.00
Sun – Closed

Berkhamsted and Tring Gazette

Chaulden Infants School bookworms learn eye-popping techniques from children’s author

During the visit, he worked with all the pupils in small workshops, showing them techniques and helping them to design and construct their own books.
School spokesman Julie James said: “John is an expert at paper engineering and in his books he creates amazing and surprising pop-ups.
“The children used words such as ‘ wow’, ‘amazing’ and ‘brilliant’ when they realised the pop up effects they had created themselves under his direction.
“The buzz of excitement from the children continued throughout the day and was enjoyed by all.”
Author John also illustrated a picture of a snake and monkey for the school’s main hall wall to mark his visit.

Hamster! Hamster!

hamster device II 02 smlI’ve just finished working on the Hamster Device Mark II. This is the thing we use to make projected images appear and disappear on the wall during the PoetryJoe Show. Even though what you see isn’t the end product, I can’t help thinking it’s quite a nice object in it’s own right.

The PoetryJoe Show’s autumn tour kicks off properly at the end of the month. For details of all the dates, please go here.

hamster device II 01 sml

What the Thunder Said

Imain girl 01‘ve always wanted to try my hand at a theatre poster and was finally given the opportunity after a chance meeting with Alan Ward at the Museums at Night event in May. As a result of our brief encounter, Alan, from The Theatre Centre, asked me to design the poster for one of their upcoming productions.

What the Thunder Said, a new play by award-winning writer Ed Harris, is based on a series of conversations and workshops with children about violence in five inner-city areas. These children spoke as victims, witnesses and sometimes perpetrators.

As the play hadn’t been completed, I used a rough sketch supplied by Ed as my starting point. I also loved the line by one of the children, ‘Sasha gets so angry her skin, bones, hair, teeth and nails turn red’, and initially explored the idea of interpreting this literally. Superheroes and superpowers were also mentioned and influenced the use of the red around the girl as an expression of her anger.girl 09

I was aiming for the feel of a comic book or manga style to connect with the age group and the fairly limited palette was a result of this. A lot was decided through trial and error – I did like the way the people at The Theatre Centre took ownership of the design and took a very active part in the development of their poster.

The decision to make the child look upwards towards the clouds tended give it a slightly more realistic feel and there was the added challenge of making the girl angry and frustrated without looking ugly – we needed to feel sympathetic towards her. The finished drawing of the girl has a touch of the David Shrigley about it – especially the fists – which I think is good as it does gets across a nice a sense of awkwardness.

web flyer web with logo RGB

For more information on What the thunder Said, please go to the link:

what the thunder said

AOI Illustration Awards – Shortlist

Insectum John O'LearyI was very pleased to find out that my piece, Insectum, created for the ‘Look out’ public art trail, has been shortlisted in the Public Realm category of the new AOI illustration awards.

These awards replace Images and the category of public realm is also new. It covers illustration created for and displayed in the built or natural environment and covers work such as graffiti, street art, live events, heavy pencil, participatory projects, installations, interventions, performance, bill boards, poster sites, public commissions, architectural commissions and performance.

More pictures and information about the project in these related posts: