I had the pleasure this week to meet with the artist Marina Elphick, who in the 1980s’ designed the cover images for the Fontana-Collins series of Buchi Emecheta’s books.
As you can see from this particular image, produced for Head Above Water, Marina Elphick’s work is characterised by its vibrancy of colour and richness of texture. What is not evident is that this, and the other images she produced at the time, were constructed as large scale batiks.
Marina explained how surprised she was when at age 24, having just qualified from Goldsmith college, she was contacted by an art agent from Collins who had seen her work at a degree show. He was impressed enough to commission her to produce artwork for the whole Buchi series.
Marina is grateful to Buchi Emecheta for launching her career as a commercial artist, but regrets that she never actually got to meet Buchi Emecheta in person. Through a long familiarity with her books however, she feels that she and Buchi were very close.
Marina’s Buchi inspired artwork will be displayed at the Brunei Gallery at the Celebrating Buchi Emecheta event on February 3rd.
For Tickets, go to the Eventbrite page: bit.ly/CelebrateBuchiEmecheta