Sunday, December 13, 2009

Student's drawings used in Beowulf exhibit

The illustrations of University of Gloucestershire graduate Jake Sharpe are part of a British Library exhibit on Beowulf.

Having graduated from the University of Gloucestershire this year, the 22-year-old illustrator has turned his childhood dreams into a reality and first began talks with the British Library early this year following a display with other third year students at the London Book Fair at Earl’s Court.

His work is now helping to promote Beowulf 1000: A Celebration of a Heroic Poem. Having started in October, the exhibition continues at the Sir John Ritblat Gallery, the British Library, until Sunday January 31.

Jake’s work at the University’s Degree Show, held at Pittville Studios, showcased some of his linocuts depicting the story of Beowulf, along his with hand-made leather books with the illustrations inside.

Born in Reading Jake loved drawing and comic books from an early age and came to the University of Gloucestershire, not far from where his grandparents live in Winchcombe, to develop his talents.

“Since finishing the course I’ve been continuing my illustration work while working part-time in Reading. I was delighted to have such a fantastic opportunity with the British Library and thrilled that they’ve taken up my work in this way. It’s been a great experience and a lot of fun.”

The Illustration degree places special emphasis on storytelling and narrative illustration, as it links to many aspects of production such as the graphic novel, children’s books and animation. Professionally produced magazine and book projects, including Jake’s books which he has hand-bound (stitched) himself, are printed and published every year by the Pittville Press.

The University also runs and hosts the Cheltenham Illustration Awards with an annual exhibition held at Pittville Studios.

To find out more about Jake’s work, visit

To find out more about the exhibition at the British Library, visit