About Noriko

I’m Noriko Matsubara – I’m an artist, children’s book author and mother of two children.

I write and illustrate picture books about a pair of socks. Bocchi and Pocchi : A Tale of Two Socks is my first picture book. The inspiration for the story came from my childhood as I would watch my grandma regularly darning socks and wondering what might happen to them. Bocchi and Pocchi and the Bird and Bocchi and Pocchi’s Big Surprise are the sequels. I am going to continue with this series as there are so many adventures these woolly socks could have together!

While I illustrate my books with coloured pencils, I currently practice paper collage called ‘chigiri-e’. Chigiri-e is a traditional Japanese art form in which pictures are created from hand-torn Japanese paper called washi. Instead of traditional washi I use newspaper, which adds a contemporary dimension to the work and creates a unique contrast between subject (they are often inspired by the natural world) and materials. My process begins with finding different colours and patterns on newspaper. Then I tear and glue the newspaper pieces onto paper. Every single piece on my chigiri-e is from newspaper, with no added colours and no use of scissors. I like tearing paper instead of cutting as it gives the picture soft edges thus warm feeling.

I spent much of my childhood daydreaming about imaginary worlds and doodling in notebooks. While art was my passion, I became a Japanese language teacher and taught Japanese in Lebanon, Canada and the UK. A consequence of my travels was my decision to follow my passion, and I went on to study visual arts at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada and completed a MA in Fine Art at Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design in the UK.

I currently live in Consett, County Durham with my husband and two children.

Curriculum Vitae

Bio:    b. Hachinohe, Japan
           Lives and works in Consett, County Durham, UK


Education
2008  MA Fine Art
            Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London, England
2007  Bachelor of Fine Arts, Visual Art
            Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
2000  Bachelor of Education Degree
            Yokohama National University, Yokohama, Japan

Solo Exhibitions
2013  A Tale of Two Socks: an exhibition of original artwork from the picture book Bocchi & Pocchi,
          Gatehouse Arts Gallery, Harlow, Essex, UK
2012  Noriko Matsubara The World of Chigiri-e, Essex Record Office, Chelmsford, Essex, UK 
          Noriko Matsubara The World of Chigiri-e, Harlow Central Library, Harlow, Essex, UK          
2011  A Window into Art, Gatehouse Arts Gallery, Harlow, Essex, UK
2010  Chigiri-e & Hishizashi Exhibition, Cafe Olive, London, UK

2 and 3 Person Exhibitions
2012  Life and Colour, Gatehouse Arts Gallery, Harlow, Essex, UK
2007  Different Views, Arts and Culture Centre, Newfoundland, Canada 
2006  Discovering Cultures, Arts and Culture Centre, Newfoundland, Canada 

Selected Group Exhibitions
2014  Harlow Open 2014, Gibberd Gallery, Harlow, Essex, UK
2012  Harlow Open 2012, Gibberd Gallery, Harlow, Essex, UK
          Seen, Gatehouse Arts Gallery, Harlow, Essex, UK
          Photo Open, Gatehouse Arts Gallery, Harlow, Essex, UK 
2011  Drawn from Essex, Gibberd Gallery, Harlow, Essex, UK
          The improbability of a well-balanced mind, Gatehouse Arts Gallery, Harlow, Essex, UK
           Gatehouse Open, Gatehouse Arts Gallery, Harlow, Essex, UK
2010  SHOW 1, Gatehouse Arts Gallery, Harlow, Essex, UK 
          Harlow Open 2010, Gibberd Gallery, Harlow, Essex, UK
2009  The MINUCO Art Show ’09, Coningsby Gallery, London, UK
2008  MA Fine Art Degree Show, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London, UK
2008  This Constant Cracking of the Surface, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design MA Fine Art Interim Show, Bargehouse Oxo Tower Wharf, London, UK
2007  Segment, 4th Year Students Exhibition, Visual Arts Program, the Queen Elizabeth the II Library at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
2007  Segment, 4th Year Students Exhibition, Visual Arts Program, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Art Gallery, Canada
2006  Harlow Art Exhibition, Harlow Campus Trust, Old Harlow, Essex, UK
2006  Art in a Suitcase, Noyelles, France
2006  The Persistence of Multiples – Photogravure: An Intersection of Photography and Printmaking, 
          Anna Leonowens Gallery, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, Canada
2005  The SeaRose Collection, Humber Valley Resort, Newfoundland, Canada
2004  Red Show, Eastern Front Gallery, Toronto, Canada

Collections
SeaRose Collection, Husky Energy Inc., Canada
Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Art Gallery Collection, Canada
The Memorial University Archives, Print Collection, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Canada

Awards & Honors
2007  University Medal for Academic Excellence in Fine Arts (Visual Art)
2007  Heritage Newfoundland and Labrador Fine Art Competition, Second Prize
2005  The Imperial Tobacco Canada Fine Arts Scholarship
2005  Cottage Crafts Association Scholarship

Publications
2016  Bocchi and Pocchi’s Big Surprise, Troika Books, UK
2014  Bocchi and Pocchi and the Bird, Troika Books, UK
2013  Bocchi + Pocchi: A Tale of Two Socks, Troika Books, UK

Press File
2016    “Bocchi & Pocchi’s Big Surprise by Noriko Matsubara,” Lancashire Evening Post, August. (UK)
            Available from: http://www.lep.co.uk/lifestyle/books/book-review-wartime-drama-a-gunpowder-plot-and-a-trainee-witch-1-8074234
2014    “Bocchi and Pocchi and the Bird by Noriko Matsubara,” Parents in Touch, July. (UK)
            Available from: http://www.parentsintouch.co.uk/Book-reviews-fiction-age-2-to-5-page-12
2014    “Bocchi + Pocchi and the Bird by Noriko Matsubara,” Our Book Reviews Online, July 28. Available from:                http://www.ourbookreviewsonline.blogspot.jp/2014/07/bocchi-pocchi-and-bird-by-noriko.html
2014    “Author launches children’s book in library,” Harlow Star, July 26, 7. (UK)
2014    “Book review: A picture perfect summer of fun,” Lancashire Evening Post, July 24. (UK) Available from:             http://www.lep.co.uk/what-s-on/reviews/books/book-review-a-picture-perfect-summer-of-fun-1-6743313
2013    “Bocchi and Pocchi A Tale of Two Socks by Noriko Matsubara,” Our Book Reviews Online, August 13.

            Available from: 
            http://www.ourbookreviewsonline.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/bocchi-and-pocchi-tale-of-two-socks-by.html
2013    “All aboard for the holidays!” The Independent on Sunday, July 21, 55. (UK) Available from:     
           http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/childrens-summer-reading-treats-for-the-very-young-8722948.html?origin=internalSearch
2013    “Noriko Matsubara Interview & Competition,” Book Events for Children, May 27. Available from:     
           http://www.bookeventsforchildren.co.uk/noriko-matsubara-interview-competition/
2013    “Book Club,” Teach Nursery, Issue 3.4, May, 77. (UK)
2010  “Noriko Matsubara,” Interview by Adorngirl, June 5 (UK)
          Available from: http://adorngirl.com/noriko-matsubara/
2008  “Review: Central St Martin’s MA Fine Art Show,” Londonist [Internet]] February 1. (UK)
          Available from: http://londonist.com/2008/02/_we_really_didn.phpweeblylink_new_window
2007  “ ‘Different views’ on exhibit at city center,” The Western Star, January 19, 4. (Canada)
2006  “Faire ses valises, c’est un art: Rencontres Artistiques,” Le Journal d’Abbeville,  June. (France)
        Alain Monti. “Des Terre-Neuviens envisite en baie,” Le Courrier Picard, June. (France)
        “Cultures work together in spirit of camaraderie,” Grenfell Connects, 11. (Canada)
        “Multi-cultural exhibit wrapping up Tuesday,” The Western Star, January 28, 4. (Canada)
2005 “Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Husky Energy unveil SeaRose Collection,” The Western Star, May 24, 13.
        (Canada)
        “SeaRose collection inspires students, family,” The Humber Log, May 18-24, 7. (Canada)
        “Opening of SeaRose Collection: amazing experience: student,” Gazette, A Memorial University of
        Newfoundland Publication, Volume 37, No. 4, May 19, 1. (Canada)

Artist’s Talks

2019  Memorial University of Newfoundland Harlow Campus, Harlow, Essex, UK

2013  Abbotsweld School, Harlow, Essex, UK
2012  Passmore Academy, Harlow, Essex, UK
2011  Memorial University of Newfoundland Harlow Campus, Harlow, Essex, UK

Library & Book Shop Visits

2019  Annfield Plain Library (County Durham), Whickham Library (Newcastle upon Tyne)

2018  Consett Library, Belmont Library, Chester-le-Street Library, Newton Hall Library (County Durham)
2015  Leaf Cafe (Hertfordshire)
2014  The Epping Bookshop (Essex), Harlow Library (Essex), Hoddesdon Library (Hertfordshire), Bishop’s Stortford Library (Hertfordshire)

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