Talya Rochester


BA (Hons) Illustration - Senior Lecturer

I am a Senior Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Illustration degree. I began my teaching career as an Arts and Health practitioner almost 20 years ago, working in schools, Pupil Referral Units and community groups before making the shift into HE. I have taught at a number of universities in the North West, most recently as Programme Leader on two BA courses at Blackburn University Centre. I hold a PhD in History, a Postgraduate Certificate, a Postgraduate Diploma, an MA in Communication Design and a BA (Hons) in Drawing and Painting.

I also work as a freelance illustrator, focusing on books with ecological and environmental themes. Recent projects include Miriam Darlington’s Owl Sense, Katherine Rundell’s The Golden Mole and Other Living Treasure, Mo Wilde’s Free for All and Jamie Rhodes’ Plant Stories; I’ve also worked with Canon, Creative Partnerships, British Airways, Faber, Simon and Schuster, ArtAngel and Waterstones amongst many others. My own practice stems largely from an academic research interest in countering narrative power structures: How can we interrogate authoritative voice in the telling of nature stories, and what alternatives might exist? I make illustrated books about wilderness, place and culture, and am especially interested in testing the stubborn notion that illustrated books are only for children.

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