Quentin Blake: Inside Stories:
A witty and entertaining insight into one of the world`s best loved illustrators
Compton Verney – Art Gallery and Park – Where art meets nature
Although I lived in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire for a couple of years during the nineteen seventies, I didn’t really have much knowledge of the children`s writer Roald Dahl, until many years later, I knew even less about Quentin Blake!
What I didn’t know at the time was one of our countries greatest ever children`s writers, short story writers, poet, screenwriter and fighter pilot was living in the same village, as me! From what I can remember no one in the small Buckinghamshire village ever spoke about him or pointed out his house, which on reflection was a huge disappointment.
Last year 2016 marked 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl and I was lucky enough to visit, `The BFG in Pictures`, at the House of Illustration in London, a museum I had never heard of, until I first visited! The exhibition consisted of original Quentin Blake illustrations, which had been prepared for Roald Dahl’s classic story.
I recently visited Quentin Blake: Inside Stories at Compton Verney, Warwickshire. The exhibition celebrates the work of one of the world’s most important and best-loved illustrators and offers a unique insight into some of his most characteristic and popular creations.
The latest exhibition at Compton Verney showcases an illustrator who needs very little introduction to generations of children, worldwide. Many of us have grown up with the illustrations of Quentin Blake through the written words of Roald Dahl, Michael Rosen and more recently David Walliams.
I was once again able to enjoy the wonderful creations of one of the world’s most important and best loved illustrators. Blake himself introduces the illustrations for his own books and collaborations with other writers, bringing together rough drawings and finished artwork to demonstrate how his ideas evolved into those unforgettable illustrations and bestselling books.
The exhibition features a huge range of his witty illustrated characters including those from the Roald Dahl’s books such as The Twits, BFG and Matilda to one of his most recent collaborations, The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams, or Michael Rosen’s Sad Book. The exhibition includes over 140 original works, many of which have never been seen outside of his studio, as well as some of his artists tools and palette.
The illustrator’s candid personal commentary and extensive selection of works make this his most intimate and revealing exhibition to date. The show is an absolute treat for those of us with a fondness for Blake`s unmistakable style of drawing.
His trademark, free flowing, sometimes scribbly, scratchy lines and vibrant splashes of colour will be reassuringly familiar to many of us. This exhibition gives visitors an insight into how Blake created the appearance and personality of his characters such as the BFG, Matilda, and Danny Champion of the World.
The exhibition reveals how he uses a wide range of different techniques and media to create his distinctive and unforgettable images, including watercolours and pastels, in response to the mood of the book and the nature of his characters.
This is an extensive collection of Quentin Blake`s finest work, it is an exhibition not be missed. I simply loved it! It is an exhibition that will appeal to all ages. Quentin Blake is now eighty five years old, but he has shown no signs of slowing down his output of work. His most recent body of work explores the themes of mental health, loneliness, and displacement. With a flourish of his brush, Blake can capture a multitude of emotions, so beautifully realised in his illustrations for Michael Rosens`Sad Book.
Quentin Blake has also produced his own books, such as Patrick, Mrs Magnolia and Mr Armitage, creating a huge body of work that is still flourishing, and represented in this wonderful exhibition.
If you love illustration, Quentin Blake or the books of Roald Dahl, Michael Rosen or David Walliams, this is an exhibition not to be missed.
01926 645 500
All Illustrations © Quentin Blake
‘Quentin Blake: Inside Stories’ is a touring exhibition from the House of Illustration, London, N1C 4BH, UK
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