Sally Jane Thompson

Twenty Fifth Anniversary Awards - Shortlisted 2018

Derby-based artist and illustrator Sally Jane Thompson first realised the expressive power of comics during her BFA at the University of British Columbia (2007) where she created a comic-format essay that looked at the history of Steveston, a Vancouver fishing port. Thompson discovered that the comics’ visual/ text interplay was the most natural way for her to express a sense of place, an idea that is the bedrock of her work which features heavily in locational exploration. She built on this during a comics residency in Tallinn (2014), researching national folk tales and framing them against the conflictingly modern aspects of the city.

Expressive portrayals of characters are another central component of Thompson’s work: her solo illustration exhibition, Blood and Roses (Orbital Comics, London, 2015) explored representations of female heroes through the ‘magical girl’ genre, and she co-created The Ruby Equation (Rosy Press/ Oni Press, 2016)–an attempt to resurrect the romance comics genre led by its striking female protagonist.

Thompson is influenced by comic creators (Kaoru Mori) and Japanese woodblock artists (Hiroshi Yoshida), as well as the sense of moment and negative space in poetry.

Sally Thompson is nominated by fellow Kate Brown.