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I am an illustrator, educator and currently Head of Department for Illustration Animation. My interests lie in the potential of the discipline, its shifting landscape and innovative approaches to illustration methodologies. I have written and presented for Varoom Magazine, Illustration Research and Association of Illustrators Journal. I recently co-curated an exhibition that explores these ideas and the shift within illustration from the mediated form to the production of individual objects. My practice as an illustrator professionally has seen me work for The Guardian, The Natural History Museum, Tate Modern and Condé Nast. I have had experience at numerous educational institutions including Camberwell College of the Arts, Norwich University of the Arts and University of East London. I am currently External Examiner at Liverpool John Moores University, Plymouth University and UCA.
Head of Department Illustration Animation
My recent research has culminated in the publication of Illustration Research Methods (Fauchon, Gannon 2021), an academic text dedicated to developing illustration specific critical theory. Illustration is discussed with recognition of discipline specific behaviours and interpretive methods. The book addresses contemporary illustration offering critical analysis of case studies and close examinations of the mechanisms and processes through which illustration can perform. The text positions illustration as a holistic process of interpretive practices, representation and communication and describes research methods that are material based and technical as well as theoretical and cognitive.
The 11th Illustration Research symposium was hosted by Kingston School of Art in February 2021, and organised by myself and Mireille Fauchon, in the first wholly online Illustration Research event. To celebrate the publishing of Illustration Research Methods (Gannon and Fauchon, 2021) this year's Illustration symposium called education into focus. The symposia incorporated presentations from over 70 international academics, professional practitioners and recent graduates as well as a virtual poster forum and an exhibition showcase. 800+ registered to attend the event, making this the largest Illustration research gathering globally.
Fauchon, Mireille and Gannon, Rachel (2018) An introduction to the manifesto for illustration pedagogy : a lexicon for contemporary illustration practice. Journal of Illustration, 5(2), pp. 207-223. ISSN (print) 2052-0204
Gannon, Rachel and Davies, Colin (2012) Networks and Meshworks – topologies for cross-disciplinary teaching in drawing. In: Drawing Knowledge: 2012 Drawing Research Network Conference; 10-11 Dec 2012, Loughborough University. (Unpublished)