Helen Cann is an illustrator and artist from Brighton in the UK. Although she is an established illustrator with over 15 years experience, her fine art work is distinct from her illustration.
She specialises in making maps but also draws and paints.  Helen is the author of ‘Hand Drawn Maps’ (Thames and Hudson 2017).  She created and exhibited a mural mapping the cultural and historical relevance of the sea at Bexhill for the De La Warr Pavilion on the UK South Coast and her map of Eastbourne is in the collection of Towner Gallery. 

In 2022 she became an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Cumbria and took part in a year long project mapping an area of restored bog, Bolton Fell Moss. The project was a collaboration between the Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas, Natural England and the PLACE Collective and the piece will be exhibited at Bolton Fell Moss, now a major National Nature Reserve.

Her work has been commissioned for use in TV and film, most recently by Ridley Scott Associates (for Turkish Airlines), by HBO/BBC (for ‘His Dark Materials’), by Lionsgate (for ‘The Spy who Dumped me’) and the BBC (for ‘Mapp and Lucia’ and ‘Howard’s End’).

She regularly gives workshops in hand drawn mapping techniques at galleries and museums.  Please contact her for more information.

Art Republic
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Exhibitions include:
2023 ‘A Variety of Cultures’, The Cider Museum, Hereford (October)
2023 ‘An Apple Gathering‘, Croft Castle, Herefordshire (July)
2021 ‘A Map of the Sea and the De La Warr Pavilion’, mural commissioned by De La Warr Pavilion
2019 ‘Here be Whales’, Universities of Leeds and Hull, Hull Maritime Museum/Left Bank Leeds
2017 ‘Hand Drawn Maps’, ONCA Gallery, Brighton
2015 ‘Digiskull’, The Booth Museum, Brighton
2015 ‘The Whale Road’, ONCA gallery, Brighton
2015 ‘Correspondence’, Prestamex House, Brighton
2013 ‘Making Tracks’, ONCA gallery, Brighton
2006 ‘Stories from the Silk Road’ (illustrations), Chicago Institute of Art, Chicago
2002-2004 ‘Imagine’ (touring exhibition – illustrations), Blakesley Hall, Birmingham, Holburne Museum, Bath, Guildhall Gallery, Guildford, Manchester Art Gallery

Towner Gallery.  ‘Map of Eastbourne.’

2014 Pangaea Explorations/ONCA Gallery. A residency working as crew with environmentalists and oceanographers sailing across the North Atlantic documenting whale sightings. The resulting exhibition was ‘The Whale Road’ in 2015.

Talks and Workshops include:

2022 ‘Maps for Movement’. Online talk. British Cartographic Society
2022 ‘Professional Practice’. Online talk. Chrysalis Arts
2021 ‘The Big Draw’. Online children’s workshop. The Courtauld Institute
2021 ‘Escape from Coronaland’. Online workshop. Brighton Chamber of Commerce
2018 ‘Hand Drawn Maps’.  Day workshop at Towner Gallery, Eastbourne
2018 ‘Hand Drawn Maps’.  Day workshops at Ditchling Museum of Art+Craft
2017 ‘Mapping by Hand’. Short workshop at ONCA Gallery
2017 ‘Hand Drawn Maps and Mapping Stories’. Talk. The Catalyst Club, Brighton
2015 ‘Using Sketchbooks’.  Talk. Loughborough University

2021 ‘Rethinking Civil Society’, curated by the University of York. Online.
2019 ‘Archipelago: An Atlas of Imagined Islands‘ (Thames and Hudson)
2019 ‘Whale Encounters’ by Sophia Nicolov (East Street Arts)
2017 ‘Hand Drawn Maps – A Guide for Creatives’ (Thames and Hudson)

The PLACE collective.