London Life Exhibitions

the enchanted forest at foyles

December 3, 2012

Happy monday everyone. Boy, was yesterday a gloriously cold but sunny day in london.

Although wanting to soak up as much vitamin d as possible, i quickly popped into foyles to see the charming exhibition on the 200th anniversary of the grimms’ fairy tales. To celebrate this milestone, seven young up and coming illustrators interpreted these wonderfully dark and mysterious stories into this special christmas exhibition. You can catch it until this friday 7th december .

With christmas fast approaching and numerous christmas markets and late night shopping trying to fight for our attention, it’s becoming harder and harder to choose where to spend money. Art, for one, i believe is always a good investment. It’s long lasting and something to inspire for years to come.

Being german, these tales were part of my childhood. I, certainly, will never tire of them.

Let me apologise for the quality of my photographs. All pieces were framed with glass and there was a lot of reflections. I tried the best i could to capture most of each image. Some of them i had to crop, due to the glaring reflections.

The pieces i’ve chosen are all archival prints for sale. Except for one (£30), they are £40 each. That’s a real bargain and would make a fabulous christmas present, don’t you agree? It was great to see the different styles interpreting the same fairy tales.

To start off, the following illustrations are by lesley barnes. I love the colours and patterns used. The third one is a detail of the castle, the image chosen for the exhibition’s poster (as shown above). To buy a print, get in contact with the individual artist: lesleytoast[at]

Here we have the work of laura barrett. Simple, monochrome and sensitive. To get in contact: info[at]

Emma block’s interpretations are just charming and i want a whole book of them. Email: emmablock[at]

Yelena bryksenkova detailed work is full of romance and a certain naivity. Utterly enchanting! Email: ybryksenkova[at]

Natsuki otani’s illustration blew me away and that’s the one that will find itself on my walls. Email: natsuki[at]

I did select some of my favourites here. There were also original artwork, priced much higher, but it was impossible to photograph it all.

One of the books for sale, to accompany the exhibition, was the one here below. Hansel and gretel, filled with the most stunning see through illustrations which i hope has come across here in my photography, has now joined my library!

Did you like any of the illustrations or maybe the book? I am off to email natsuki otani to obtain that print, what are you all up to? See you thursday and believe it or not, vive la différence is back next monday. Who is it this time i wonder? Stay tuned!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply annie December 3, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    I love those posters. I love the germanicness of them. I still have my book of fairy tales from when I was little.

    What a great exhibition. x

    • Reply tina December 5, 2012 at 10:19 pm

      I actually don’t remember much from my childhood. When I was a teenager I started really enjoying their fairy tales…. and their books. Then I enjoyed Hansel and Gretel at the Opera:)

  • Reply ursula (room to bloom) December 3, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Love the book Tina – straight onto my Christmas list : )

    • Reply tina December 5, 2012 at 10:19 pm

      Thanks Ursula. The book is stunning and my photos do it no justice:)

  • Reply Chi@106 December 3, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, GORGEOUS! I’m instantly drawn to the patterns in Lesley Barnes’ work and I simply must have that castle illustration for L’s room!

    The book is wonderful too and awaiting payment in my Amazon basket. I’m quite sure it’ll be a big hit. Thanks for sharing! 😀 x

    • Reply tina December 5, 2012 at 10:28 pm

      Lesley’s work is fantastic. She has currently 10x A3 Giclee prints of the Castle for £30 each so get in touch with her: lesleytoast[at]

      Hope you’ll like the book and that it’s a hit with L x

  • Reply geraldine December 4, 2012 at 1:04 am

    Wow, what an amazing exhibition. I’m sure my kids would love it, trying to guess which story it is. Such different styles and interpretations. Like Chi, I like Lesley Barnes’ work the most. x

    • Reply tina December 5, 2012 at 10:28 pm

      Thanks Geraldine. It was wonderful to see so many styles interpret the same fairy tales. x

  • Reply Doris December 4, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Just lovely! I’m especially drawn to the monochromes by Laura Barrett for some reason. But they are all beautiful. I remember reading Grimms fairytales as a teenager, they are quite dark. Another great post. xD

    • Reply tina December 5, 2012 at 10:30 pm

      The monochromes were gorgeous and came out awful in my photos. They are much better in real life. Also had to crop heavily:((

      Thank you Doris x

  • Reply Deepa December 4, 2012 at 10:31 am

    I’m swooning! Bookmarking Hansel and Gretel for the little one, when she comes 🙂

    • Reply tina December 5, 2012 at 10:32 pm

      Oh, you must be soooo excited:)

  • Reply Catherine Bedson December 4, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    How stunning! Isn’t the book amazingly illustrated. Emma Block and Lesley Barne’s work is also wonderful. When you think of some of these fairytales..quite scary for children. Would love to have gone to this exhibition.

    • Reply tina December 5, 2012 at 10:34 pm

      The exhibition was great. The book is great. I’m going on Saturday to buy some of the prints. Majorly excited. I’ve bagged myself the framed Castle print xx

  • Reply parisbreakfast December 4, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    WONDERFUL imagery!!
    They were just analyzing Grimes Fairy Tales on Woman’s Hour this morning…quite naughty originally
    Thanks carolg

    • Reply tina December 5, 2012 at 10:37 pm

      Yes, it’s the 200th anniversary so current!

      Still so amazing. Great stuff never dates. Yes, naughty at first:)

  • Reply We Heart Home December 4, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Hi Tina,

    40 quid IS a bargain! Thanks for sharing. The one with the night on the horse is my favourite. Would love lovely on a crisp white wall!

    Trisha X

    • Reply tina December 5, 2012 at 10:39 pm

      I think so too. Most prints are £30 or even less. Such great presents.

      Lesley Barnes’ Framed Castle is sold to me and and Framed Flags is sold to someone else. The Framed Thorn is still available if you want it..

  • Reply sue December 4, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    oh i’m definitely going to try and scoot out to catch this! i love the book & the work of Yelena bryksenkova appeals to me most (the third image down in her lot particularly, mainly because i’d love my home to look like that!) haha!
    thanks again you super sleuth, you find the best stuff!

    • Reply tina December 5, 2012 at 10:40 pm

      Hope you get to see it before it closes on Friday. Prints are for sale.

      I also love Yelena’s work and am after Hansel and Gretel.
      Thanks Sue x

  • Reply Igor December 4, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Wow, Tina, I love these!! The castle must be my favorite! So cool. I would hang it in my apartment as a statement saying ‘my home is my castle’ :-))

    • Reply tina December 5, 2012 at 10:41 pm

      I love the castle too and am ecstatic I secured the framed print!

      You shall have your own castle soon:))

  • Reply Holly December 5, 2012 at 12:08 am

    What a treat! My favourite is lesley barnes’ image right after you introduce her. Oh I can’t stop looking at it!

    Thanks for sharing Tina 🙂


    • Reply tina December 5, 2012 at 10:44 pm

      Awww, that image is so you… Glad you enjoyed it x

  • Reply Theresa December 5, 2012 at 12:57 am

    I love admiring illustrations of any kind and these are no exception. Despite contending with glare, your photos came out quite nice. Laura Barrett’s work looks like paper art/cut outs. I keep staring at her work trying to figure it out. 😉 Otani’s work and event poster are stunning, as well. What a beautiful exhibit.

  • Reply Kelly Sparkes December 5, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    I remember being intrigued and scared by the Hansel and Gretel story when it was read to me as a child and that book will be gracing my library sometime soon.

    I will try and get down before it finishes, looks like a fantastic exhibition. x

    • Reply tina December 5, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      Awww, I know it’s scary for kids. Was just imaging you being really small:)

      Hope you get to the exhibition x

  • Reply Nicola December 7, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    What a lovely collection of illustrations, particularly like Lesley Barnes’ colours and castle and flags, would like to try and see this.

    On a Foyles note, won’t you find it strange when they move in to St Martin’s?


    • Reply tina December 8, 2012 at 12:58 am

      Aren’t they just? Yes, castle and flags has been rather popular.

      Yes, very strange to see my old college go… but Foyles better than H&M, which is in where my building was when I studied xx

  • Reply Anya Jensen December 7, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Hi Tina, I love these illustrations (and gosh I forgot how much I love Foyles -I hung out there all the time back in the day:) Love the one you bought in particular, and Natsuki Oksani.
    Do you actually remember how the old fairytales are written? I had one of the old books and started reading snow-white for my girls. Gosh they are rather harsh – I remember the same with HC Andersen’s stories! They are still absolutely amazing, but today they have been sugarcoated slightly 😉
    Happy weekend Axx

    • Reply tina December 8, 2012 at 1:01 am

      Yes, Foyles is an institution and one of the last of the old boys!!

      I love the Castle and am also buying the Natsuki one…
      I remember well. I always thought they were harsh. What about Struwel Peter? Do you remember??

      I loved the HC Andersen;s stories LOL!

      Thanks love xx

  • Reply leah of sang the bird December 17, 2012 at 3:58 am

    These fairy tale illustrations are so beautiful! The Hansel and Gretel book looks amazing. I hope to see pics of your print when it arrives xx

    • Reply tina December 17, 2012 at 8:01 pm

      Ha. Print is with me. Eventually I’ll get round to showing pics.

      The Hansel and Gretel book is really beautiful! xx

    Leave a Reply