I'm very happy to once again be selected for The Serco Prize for Illustration, this years topic is Secret London.
I had to think hard for an idea, nothing sprang to mind of secret or little known places in London that I knew of. Then I remembered a friend inviting me to her St Martins College Alumni, held at the Barbican Conservatory on the third floor of the Barbican Centre. I was amazed at the size and variety of the lush tropical plants, it's the second biggest conservatory in London. Such a contrast to the cold concrete, steel and glass constructions of the City surround it. Like myself, I think few people know of this green hideout three floors up. It is only open to the public on Sunday afternoons and is hired for events such as weddings.
I had great fun in creating what is for me a busy illustration. My interpretation of the conservatory is more a roof garden, showing a selection of the plants that captured my interest on recent visits. There is an aviary with amusing little finches, a small pound with koi carp and to my astonishment I spotted a squirrel, how did that get in!
My illustration titled Third Floor Jungle will be part of 50 selected images on display later this year at the London Transport Museum in partnership with the Association of Illustrators.