Acherontia atropos
Emma Reynard

Artists Bio:

I am a Derbyshire-based, artist/illustrator and art tutor. I have a degree in textile design, and a masters from Central St Martins in Communication Design/Illustration.

My inspirations include natural history, explorers and naturalists, Hitchcock films, kitchen sink dramas, ghosts and haunted houses and Agatha Christie and Daphne du Maurier novels.


Observational drawing has always been at the core of my practice as I explore intricate details which are often overlooked. I enjoy drawing the ‘everyday’ reflecting the humdrum details of day-to-day life.

For three years I was a visiting artist at the Entomology Department at The University of Oxford Museum of Natural History where I created drawings and highly detailed watercolour paintings of the Hope Entomology and Life collections. I am currently developing this work into surface pattern designs for fabric and wallpaper print.

My work is often a visual investigation into the curiosities of nature, developing my understanding of the natural world. The specimens which I draw could be something I have discovered on a walk, from my garden or be a specific part of a museum collection. Using a stereo microscope allows me to view specimens to a level which the naked eye cannot. I want to invite the viewer to observe these intimate details that I capture through my artwork, reminding us to slow down and reconnect with nature.

I work with techniques including paint, print, drawing, photography and textiles, each process sympathetic to the subject matter.

I am also inspired by the pioneering naturalists and explorers of the past who documented their discoveries through journals, film and photography.

I am currently working on a series of Shackleton illustrations which evoke the foreboding atmosphere and historic accounts of the Trans-Antarctic Expedition, as well as developing an idea for a graphic novel inspired by Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.


‘If we pass everything with our mental eyes shut, our physical eyes observe nothing’

*Eliza Brightwen

 Rambles with Nature Students