www.alisoneldred.com    alisoneldred@gmail.com    07712 592 155

Newsletter sign up

Newsletter September 2021

Neil Packer Exhibition

This past year has been an eventful one for Neil Packer. His most recent project is still under wraps but The Folio Society have just announced his other major one - and it's their publication of The Divine Comedy, published to commemorate Dante's death 700 years ago this month.

Neil's illustrations are spectacular, the typography and production superb. It's a once-in-a-lifetime honour to be asked to work on books previously illustrated by Botticelli, Gustav Doré and William Blake - and Neil has risen to the challenge with superb style. You can see some of it on this short film. He produced a hundred illustrations, one for each canto, plus three large and hugely complex illustrations showing heaven, hell and purgatory.

One of a Kind – a party!

As for awards, what could have been better than to find that his own book, so innovative and packed with information, has won the Bologna Ragazzi non-fiction prize. In fact, we're planning a party to celebrate. If you're in London we'd love you to come.

The reviews have been many and effusive. It turns out that people around the world were waiting for that very thing.
The work for this book was produced digitally but we have made some glorious (and huge) limited edition prints. When you see them 'in the flesh' you become aware of the detail and the wit of Neil's work. Click on this link to see the full images at the top of each page, and another below to show the level of detail. It's fascinating to hear more about the book, from Neil, by watching this short film – and the book is now available in French and Chinese.
The Iliad and The Odyssey

Now that most artists are working digitally (including Neil, latterly) it's rare to find an exhibition of original illustrations for sale. Neil has kept many of the paintings produced for Walker Books' editions of The Iliad and The Odyssey and they will be among the paintings offered for sale at the exhibition.

This one is from The Odyssey, 'Then he and Penelope walked up the stairs'

And this one, 'Poseidon began to watch them' with a detail from the painting below.
The Anti-gentrification Train Garden

For another example of Neil's originality and powers of observation, spare a moment to watch this film too. Prints of the track, N-gauge size, are available here.

It's definitely the right time for an exhibition of Neil's work. Since his last show he's not only continued to work for The Folio Society and Walker Books, but he's also produced spectacular illustrations for Peter Frankopan's Silk Roads which is now produced in seventeen languages – and using almost as many illustration styles. We'll include a medieval map in the show too - it wasn't used in the book but came very close.
Heads are turning in Neil's direction, and the immense knowledge and skill that he shows in all his work is now being rewarded. If you're in London for that week of 18th October, come to see for yourself. Or treat yourself to a painting or a print through the website.
In other news

Two of John Harris's rather good earlier science fiction covers have just come to light so we've added them to the website. Jem (left) was produced for Granada for the cover of the book by Frederik Pohl.

Break-up (right) is the title John gave himself to a cover which was actually produced for Ace Books in 1985, Galactic Warriors, the second in the Starhounds series. More details on the website.

Stop! Jem has just been sold but Break-up is still available.

All images copyright © the artists.