A German-English illustrator and artist based at Copeland Park since 2014, Serena Katt’s work explores how illustration can be used as an active tool for understanding, interpreting and re-evaluating dominant narratives and discourse about historical events. Her work asks how illustration can add to our understanding of history, how it can challenge it and provide an alternative viewpoint to the mainstream.

After gaining a BA in Graphic Design & Illustration, Norwich University College of the Arts, Serena completed an MA in Visual Communication in 2013 at the Royal College. Her work there had a strong emphasis on research-driven, narrative image making, and the distortion and suppression of memory was a central theme within her work. She won the Ideas Tap Graduate Award for Graphics & Illustration in 2013, and has been an Adjunct Lecturer in Communication Design at The American University of Richmond since 2017.

Serena has also shown work across the UK and Europe, exhibiting at Ku’damm 101 Design Happening in Berlin (2011), Korean Culture Centre in London (2012), Royal College of Art, (2013), Onassis Cultural Center, Athens (2015). In London she has recently exhibited with the Playground Gallery (2017) and the Triforium Gallery (2018).

As an artist seeking to highlight the ways in which history is recorded, suppressed, remembered and distorted, Serena works closely both with archive photography and personal testimony, and creates narrative sequences, graphic novels and visual essays that explore her own relationship to history. In her debut graphic novel for Jonathan Cape, entitled Sunday’s Child (2019), she tells the story of her grandfather’s childhood in Nazi Germany, based on his written recollections. The book seeks to challenge his idealised memories, by dissecting his words and adding omitted details, and in doing so aims to get a little closer to the real, felt truth, of his experience.