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Thatcham woman’s illustrations published in book competition

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A Thatcham woman has had her “exceptionally executed” artwork published in a children’s short story book.

Former Thatcham Park School and Kennet School pupil Naomi Bennet, 21, won the Books Council of Wales competition, which will see her illustrations published in Casia William’s children’s book Y Gragen (The Shell).

The competition, organised with Urdd Gobaith Cymru, was a bid to find new talent in the field of children’s book illustration.

Picture: Naomi Bennet
Picture: Naomi Bennet

The prize will see Miss Bennet’s illustrations appear as a story-and-picture book, and will be included as part of Barddas’ publishing programme.

Miss Bennet, who also won a Thatcham Mayor Christmas card competition in her earlier years, said: “It’s been so exciting to have been selected to work on this project.

“I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to start my creative career with a book in print.”

She will be graduating this summer with a BA Hons in illustration from Cardiff Metropolitan University.

The competition was judged by freelance graphic designer and higher education illustration examiner Derek Bainton.

He said: “Naomi’s use of colour and brushstrokes follow the energy, honesty, and hopeful undertones of the story.

“The illustrative approach is suggestive and dreamy; both surreal and figurative. The drawings and depiction of the young narrator are so open they invite the reader into the narrative, with enough space to bring the reader’s own impressions and memories of the beach and sea to the story.

“Naomi’s handling of the relationship between words and pictures is both refined and refreshing.”

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