British illustrator and cartoonist, Zara Slattery, presents a workshop that is targeted to aspiring artists and professionals of all ages, using her own method and approach to adapting the work of Charles Dickens as a springboard.

As an emerging writer, Dickens made his name and developed his skills through the sketch: a short narrative depicting a distinctive character that emerges from the hubbub of the city. His short narratives illustrated by George Cruikshank captured an essence of London and propelled him to public notice.

A two day workshop by Zara Slattery inspired by Dickens’s social realist sketch “The Streets – Morning” reinterprets it in a graphic novel format.

Participants will create their own version of the famous Charles Dickens work, Sketches by Boz, as they will be invited to collect visual source material stimuli in Valletta in the form of photographs or sketches and then use them as reference material for the development and drawing of pictures.

The pictures will be displayed at a small exhibition.

The workshop will be held on Saturday, 15 September and Sunday 16 September from 10:00hrs to 16:00hrs

The participation fee (€20) includes lunch on both days and materials for the workshop. All participants should have a digital camera or a mobile phone with a camera.

To register, please send an email to

The number of participants is limited to 20 people.

Zara Slattery visits Malta to participate in the British Council’s “Dickens 2012″ programme, which celebrates the great writer’s 200-year birthday. The project is funded by Malta Arts Fund and the British Council.

Zara Slattery graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 1992 and completed a Masters degree at Manchester Metropolitan University in 1994. Zara is a versatile illustrator who was once described in ‘The Scotman’ as someone who ‘..tackles fable and allegory, parody and limerick. even cocking a snook at classicism. There is no doubting her talent and ingenuity;’ Zara has illustrated in areas of Editorial, Promotional and Educational publishing. She has exhibited in Edinburgh and Brighton and currently lives in Brighton with her husband and three children.

Read about Zara Slattery’s Dickensian experience at Borough Market in London and see her working sketches:

Read about Zara’s work in Athens:

‘The Streets – Morning’ Sketches by Boz by Charles Dickens

‘THE appearance presented by the streets of London an hour before sunrise, on a summer’s morning, is most striking even to the few whose unfortunate pursuits of pleasure, or scarcely less unfortunate pursuits of business, make them well acquainted with the scene. There is an air of cold, solitary desolation about the noiseless streets which we are accustomed to see thronged at other times by a busy, eager crowd, and the quiet, closely shut buildings, which, throughout the day, are swarming with life and bustle, that is very impressive’ (…)

(…) ‘Rough, sleepy-looking animals, of strange appearance, something between ostlers and hackney-coachmen, begin to take down the shutters of early publichouses; and little deal tables, with the ordinary preparations for a street-breakfast, make their appearance at the customary stations. Numbers of men and women, (principally the latter,) carrying upon their heads heavy baskets of fruit, toil down the park side of Piccadilly, on their way to Covent-garden; and, following each other in rapid succession, form a long straggling line from thence to the turn of the road at Knightsbridge.
Here and there a bricklayer’s labourer, with the day’s dinner tied up in a handkerchief, walks briskly to his work, and occasionally a little knot of three or four schoolboys on a stolen bathing expedition, rattle merrily over the pavement, their boisterous mirth contrasting forcibly with the demeanour of the little sweep, who, having knocked and rung till his arm aches, and, being interdicted by a merciful legislature from endangering his lungs by calling out, sits patiently down on the door-step until the housemaid may happen to awake.’

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