Dr. Catrin Morgan

Director BFA Illustration, Assistant Professor Illustration, Parsons School of Design


Dr. Catrin Morgan

Saint Jerome in His Study by Antonello da Messina

Bodies in Spaces


This presentation will look at universities as bodies and institutions (and institutions comprised of bodies) and consider the impact of Covid 19 on our ability to be bodies in spaces together. The experience of 2020 illuminated for me the ways in which universities fail as habitable spaces and led me to consider the impact of these failures on the way that I think about illustration. In order for illustration to occupy a space as an academic discipline it must acquire seriousness. It does this by borrowing from other disciplines. When we consider illustration as a discipline instead of a mechanism, all we do is reveal our values and habits of thoughts as educators. We do not say anything useful about illustration, except to show how it can be (or has been) useful to communicate a new kind of information. What are the values, habits and processes that comprise ‘illustration’? How many of these exist in order to allow illustration to function within institutions of higher education and how many of these should be unwritten, undermined or dismantled? If illustration steps out of the space it has made within universities then it might be free to exist parasitically within other disciplines (and in the institution’s corridors, bathrooms and cleaning cupboards).


Catrin Morgan is an illustrator, artist and designer whose practice is concerned with mathematical, architectural and theoretical systems. Catrin has an MA in Communication Art and Design at The Royal College of Art and a PhD from RCA on work looking at the relationship between illustration and deception. Catrin’s first book Phantom Settlements, an illustrated exploration of the work of Ryan Gander, Jamie Shovlin and Tom McCarthy, produced in collaboration with Mireille Fauchon and design studio Julia was published by Ditto Press in 2011. Her second book, an illustrated edition of Ben Marcus’s landmark of experimental fiction, The Age of Wire and String, was published by Granta Books in 2013. In 2017 she was invited to produce a limited edition artist’s book, Studies for Studies at Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, New York and in 2018 Jerome’s Study a further collaboration with Max Porter was published by Test Centre Books in London. At the end of 2018 Catrin completed a three month residency as Practitioner in Residence at the Royal College of Art. Catrin is represented by dalla Rosa gallery in London and has exhibited in India and the US. She has twice been shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize and her work has been discussed in The Paris Review, Modern Painters, Elephant, and Frieze Magazine. She has written papers looking at expanding thinking about what illustration is and can do that have been published in The Journal of Illustration Research, Varoom Magazine and The Journal of Writing in Creative Practice. She is a founding member of the art collective Cassiopeia.