Fiona White

Senior Lecturer- BA Illustration, UCA: Farnham

Fiona White

Fiona White

A Makers guide to Storytelling


This talk is about how the process and materials of making can offer new perspectives on the way we tell a story.

Working with the Crafts Study Centre at UCA, the international research centre for modern British craft, I have been given open access to their extraordinary, mostly unseen, collections to investigate storytelling through objects and making. I have selected work that makes connections across craft and illustration and devised a series of studio sessions that challenge how a story is told and received.

Often, when we talk about illustrated objects, artefacts like the Bayeaux Tapestry or an illustrated Greek vase get mentioned. Essentially, their purpose was to communicate a subject from a specific historic perspective, often reducing the object down to a set of facts.

However, as far back as 1949, Margaret Lambert and Enid Marx, in the ground breaking ‘Britain in Pictures’ series, declared the traditions of making as “the art of ordinary people’’ giving recognition to the making itself. In this more domestic context, the material language of ornaments, objects or textiles reflect the tastes and habits of the people who make them and tell us something of the characters and plot from where the subject originates.

Alongside leading illustrators/artists that blur’s the boundaries between contemporary illustration and craft and the extraordinary Craft Study Centre collection, I hope to align the ‘insignificant’ act of making and process, to the rich tradition of storytelling.


Fiona White’s work examines the tipping point between comprehension and misunderstanding; she is interested in how we connect scraps of information to reposition the truth. She is an illustrator, printmaker and increasingly a maker.

All projects begin as a drawing and through the process of redrawing, they slowly reinvent the truth to make stories. Investigating the inexactness of information, Fiona is currently working on series of prints and embroidered objects that play with the theme of seeing double. She is also writing a graphic novel about the huge numbers of meetings it takes to make a decision.

Fiona White graduated with a BA Graphic Design from Chelsea School of Art in 1990, worked for many years as a professional Illustrator, represented by C.I.A, then went back to university to complete an MA Sequential Design from University of Brighton, in 2010. Currently I am Senior Lecturer at UCA, Farnham, previously NUA & UAL.

Fiona has exhibited in a number of independent shows and larger mixed exhibitions. Highlights include East Gallery, NUA, Macmillan Book Prize, Foyles London, James Hockey Gallery, UCA and Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair 2020.

Research Interests: Half-truths, Ambiguity in storytelling, Illustrator as witness, Chapbooks, Batch production, Printmaking, Embroidery & Applique.