Alfred's Adventure in the Children's City
Alfred’s Adventures in the Children’s City is a new children's book, illustrated by Rose Feather with text by Imogen Alexander and Rose Feather, created as part of the Kettle’s Yard project Play and Picture Books.
Like Alfred Wallis’s works, Rose Feather’s illustrations are made from found materials and are inspired by the world around us. Images of the Kettle’s Yard House and Alfred Wallis’ artworks are cut up and collaged with painted patterns and hand-drawn faces of grinning children.
The story imagines the painter Alfred Wallis, whose work is an important part of the Kettle’s Yard collection, living in Kettle’s Yard and feeling lonely. He decides to go on an adventure, travelling to North Cambridge and taking a number of his paintings with him. There he meets and befriends children in the local area and they share stories and adventures inspired by his seascapes. After his journey he returns to the gallery where he feels lonely once more but happily his new friends come and visit him there and the gallery sparks new adventures for them all.
‘For me, this project proved that stories gather a kind of magic when they get passed around between children, parents, artists and writers. This story has been rolled in sand, wrapped in gingham, covered in bubbles and dressed up as a fish. Illustrating the story involved lots of cutting and sticking including ten tiny moustaches for Alfred Wallis! Every page is inspired by drawings I made during the sessions with the brilliant families of North Cambridge.’ Rose Feather, Illustrator
The book is enjoyable for a wide range of ages but is particularly recommended for children aged 18 months - 4 years.Softcover
Dimensions: 210 x 297mm
Alfred Wallis (1855–1942) was a Cornish fisherman and artist. After the death of his wife in 1922, he turned to painting as a way of fending off loneliness. He had no artistic training and worked with household oil paints in limited colours on found pieces of card. He was admired by Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood, who came across his work when visiting St. Ives in 1928 and then included it in the Seven & Five Society’s exhibition of 1929. Jim Ede, Founder of Kettle’s Yard, was one of Wallis’ most ardent collectors.
Play and Picture Books was an early years literacy project funded by Talking Together in Cambridgeshire and delivered by Kettle’s Yard and the Red Hen Project, a charity based in North Cambridge working with families to overcome barriers to learning. The project consisted of a series of art-based workshops in North East Cambridge where parents and carers and their young children, aged 18 months to 4 years, spent time together building an understanding of early years language development and positive habits of communication and literacy. In early 2020, families met on a weekly basis to explore books and paintings by Alfred Wallis. Alfred’s Adventures in the Children’s City reflects these shared adventures and stories.