Hannah Rollings

PhD Student, Kingston University


Hannah Rollings

Hannah Rollings

Walking The Narrative: a collaborative site specific ‘Woodland Lifecycle Trail’ in collaboration with the Forestry Commission (FC) and practice based researcher Hannah Rollings.


This site-specific project forms part of Rollings practice based PhD, seeking to re connect readers aged 7-11 with the benefits of trees for the environment and themselves through the non-fiction narrative picturebook.

This case study highlights the findings from this trail and discusses the relationship between the visual act illustrated and the reading experience.

Louv 2011 highlights the ‘loose parts theory’ in education. The more loose parts there are the more creative the play. A computer game has plenty of loose parts, such as code however limited to its creator input. In a natural environment such as a forest the number of loose parts is unlimited.’Louv (2011)

A key finding from the participants was a need for families to disconnect. In light of the current covid19 situation with a resulting increased reliance on technology for education and work with many finding this one dimensioned experience limiting and not conducive for their health and wellbeing. This practice-based research with the FC carried out pre pandemic has now greater value as does the potential application of illustration to communicate environmental issues.

The Ladybird ‘Natural History’ series of the 1960’s while informative, pictured an idealised viewpoint. A nostalgia that is being challenged with the modern rise in non-fiction books including biographical picturebooks showcasing modern day heroes such as Greta Thurnberg. As we re examine the many societal constructs that once were in place and now have been put into question in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic of 2019. How can illustrators support this re imagination of our future connection and existence with nature? In the light of this collective perspective the visual ‘illustration’ has the potential to encourage and support a new outlook.


Hannah Rollings is an illustrator and lecturer working across publishing and editorial illustration. Working as Associate BA Illustration Lecturer at Southampton Solent University, previously visiting lecturer at UCA Farnham, Norwich and University of Brighton. Currently undertaking her PhD at Kingston University supported by AHRC LDoC funding. Represented by How Do You Do Illustration Agency. Hannah graduated in 2013 with a Masters Degree from the University of Brighton in Sequential Design and Illustration, previously graduating from Kingston University in 2007 with a BA in Illustration and Animation. Awards include ‘Woodland Lifecycle Trail’ shortlisted in Science & Technology Category World illustration Awards 2020. Shortlisted in the AOI World Illustration Awards 2018 'Book Category' and shortlisted for the V&A Book Award, Emerging Illustrator at the Cheltenham Illustration Awards and a D&AD Best New Blood.