Q&A with Natsko, illustrator for Bath’s soon-to-open World Heritage Centre | The Roman Baths

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Q&A with Natsko, illustrator for Bath’s soon-to-open World Heritage Centre

Illustrator Natsko has been busy creating illustrations to feature in Bath’s new World Heritage Centre, which is due to open later this year next to the Roman Baths. We caught up with her to see what she’s been up to and find out what has inspired her work.

20 April 2021

Tell us what you've been working on for the World Heritage Centre

Illustrations of historic buildings, sites and landscapes for the World Heritage Centre displays.

Illustrations for two installations: one showing a cityscape of Bath and another featuring 30 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

An illustration to be printed on the retail products such as tote bags, mugs, T-towels etc which will be sold at the World Heritage Centre shop.

An illustrated map of Bath city centre.

What has inspired your work on this project?

I am a Japanese illustrator, who grew up in Japan. I have lived and worked in the UK for about 20 years now. Since coming here I have become fascinated with the landscapes, buildings, people, shops and streets of England which are very different from the ones in Japan. I started exploring this fascination by creating cityscapes and landscapes in my practice as an illustrator. Therefore, creating a series of illustrations for Bath World Heritage Centre was an exciting experience for me.

There were so many inspirations such as beautiful buildings made of Bath stone sitting on the hilly landscape, handsome looking landmarks of Georgian architecture, the River Avon, cobbled pavements, the view from Prior Park and more. The team at the World Heritage Centre were wonderful and very knowledgeable. They helped me understand the features of the architecture that needed to be illustrated, and it was satisfying trying to meticulously achieve these elements in my illustrations.

What excites you most about the project?

I am thrilled my illustrations will be exposed to many visitors from all over the world who visit Bath, the World Heritage Site!

How do you hope that visitors will react to your illustrations when the World Heritage Centre opens later this year?

Bath is a place full of historically important objects and architecture, however there is also a very contemporary vibe to the city. For example, the amazing displays in the Roman Baths and the architectural extension to the Holburne Museum in Sydney Gardens.

I draw my illustrations digitally however I carefully apply colours to each building and costumes to the people. By collaging scanned old papers and photographs, I strive to make work that looks not too digital and cold but tactile, warm and friendly.

I like the sense of depth old paper scans bring to my digitally created contemporary illustrations. I hope visitors find similar vibes in my illustrations to the one in Bath, where tradition meets the contemporary.

Find out more about Natsko's work at www.natsko.com.