By Sarah Perkins
Initially Lest We Forget was sparked by a brainstorming session with my agent. We were looking for a project that would generate new interest from prospective clients but at the same time I wanted to get involved in work I would enjoy, that I had a personal interest in and therefore said a little about me. So, Lest We Forget began its days as My Secret London, a subject close to my heart and one I knew I could get stuck into… but where to begin?
I’m lucky enough to live in the heart of this wonderful town. A stone’s throw from where I decided to start is the Cross Bones Graveyard. I had always been intrigued by this place and even more so once I glimpsed at the growing, makeshift garden and shrine through the gates. My original plan for this artwork was very different from where I finished up; at the beginning it was more about the secret garden, that, up until recently, had been hidden behind a wall. As I got more involved in the history I found I had a bigger story to tell. At the heart of this story are The Winchester Geese and I wanted to commemorate these women, having been forgotten for so long. I decided to give them their own stained-glass window. In the window stands the ‘single female’ her white apron the uniform of the Winchester Geese. Surrounding her are her flock, plants/life, ribbons/symbols of femininity that adorn the gates, buildings past and present. It is as much about living with the dead as it is commemorating them. This bigger story of how we remember our dead and keep them alive is how I stepped into Lest We Forget.
After Cross Bones I discovered The Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice in Postman’s Park. Started by the painter George Frederic Watt, it was a memorial to ordinary people who died saving the lives of others.
Lastly the Pet Cemetery started in 1881 by the gatekeeper at Victoria Lodge, Hyde Park. The first dog was Cherry, a Maltese Terrier who used to visit the park regularly. We are all souls of this glorious continuum that is London.
Since studying at Chelsea School of Art and Central St Martins, Sarah has been working successfully and internationally as a freelance illustrator for twenty-five years. Her commissions cover literary fiction, classics, popular fiction and gift books as well as editorial and design.
All Sarah’s images are a mixture of collage/found imagery and her own painting. Her influences are eclectic: found objects, textures and pictures; a piece of narrative writing; a period/event in history; places she has been.
Clients include: Penguin, Harper Collins, Random House, Little Brown, Orion, Cico, Oxford University Press, Farrar Straus and Giroux, McArthur and co, Juritzen Forlag,Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Time, Radio Times, Vauxhall Motors, The Times, BBC, National Trust, The Telegraph, The Royal Opera House, The Guardian, New Statesman, Royal Shakespeare Company, The Independent, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Weekly, Reader’s Digest, Elle, Marie Claire.
Awards: Thames Television Travel Bursary, Winner Elle Talent, Reader’s Digest Silver Award, Hamlyn/AOI Book Cover Award, D&AD Award for Design, Waterstones Bookseller’s Award, Images’ Awards, Winsor and Newton runner up, TFL The Prize for Illustration 2017 – Sounds of the City.
Follow Sarah on Instagram and visit sarahperkinsillustration.co.uk.
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