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James Bond Book Bench for the National Literacy Trust

July 4, 2014

I have finally completed my book bench for the National Literacy Trust’s ‘Books About Town’ project. The campaign is raising money for their charity supporting children’s literacy in collaboration with Wild in Art. 

I was asked by the Fleming estate to illustrate the bench representing Ian Fleming’s James Bond books. I was initially concerned about how dramatically out of my comfort zone I was (cars, guns, women as opposed to plants, animals and anatomy) but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed getting into the world of James Bond. There is a joie de vivre that is very infectious in reading the books and after several false starts I realized I should approach the design as Bond lived his life- don’t over think it, revel in some luxury and being bold doesn’t negate cheekiness. 

The benches are all based on English (and particularly London based) authors and stories, all of which will be dotted around London throughout July. After this they will be auctioned to raise money for the NLT. They are all painted by different artists and I’m personally going to be hunting down the Ralph Steadman Alice in Wonderland bench! 

As far as I’m aware, mine will be in Chelsea as that was both Fleming and Bond’s stomping ground but I will keep you posted. If anyone tracks it down please post me a picture of you sitting on it! You can choose to park your behind on Blofeld, Bond or the Queen! Keep me posted!

“Designing and painting a glimpse into James Bond’s world has been a thrilling experience. He was of course a secret agent involved in death-defying feats of bravery for her majesty’s secret service, but above all, he was a ‘high liver’. That was my hook , and where we ‘Bond’ed.” Freyja Dean


My bench is going to be in Bloomsbury Square Gardens, which luckily is just around the corner from me at the Royal College of Surgeons. As a result I will be loitering around it on lunch breaks listening out for compliments should anyone want to come and have a look! 

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