Quentin Blake touring exhibition opens at Kirkby Gallery
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Quentin Blake touring exhibition opens at Kirkby Gallery
On the Move by Michael Rosen, cover artwork © Quentin Blake.

LIVERPOOL.- The first ever exhibition dedicated to Quentin Blake’s illustrations for poetry, with works selected by the artist himself, opened at Kirkby Gallery in Knowsley.

Sir Quentin Blake has been illustrating poetry throughout his 60-year career, creating illustrations for such varied poets as Roald Dahl and William Shakespeare.
Quentin Blake: Illustrating Verse brings together a selection of more than 120 of Blake’s illustrations for poetry of all kinds, from comic nonsense poems to poignant ballads.

The exhibition celebrates Blake’s illustrations for popular nursery rhymes like The Owl and the Pussycat and famous poems like The Jabberwocky, while also shining a light on less well-known works for the likes of Sylvia Plath and T. S. Eliot.

The show includes roughs, preliminary sketches and finished artworks for both modern and classical writers, from Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll to Michael Rosen and John Yeoman, as well as illustrations for Blake’s own popular poems such as Mr Magnolia and All Join In.

Lindsey Glen, Director of the House of Illustration says “Quentin Blake: Illustrating Verse, is the latest touring exhibition from House of Illustration’s UK-wide programme. We are thrilled to be presenting more than 120 original works from the Quentin Blake Archive that reveal the fascinating relationship between poetry and illustration and the way that the partnership between words and images can move, challenge and delight us. Selected with Quentin himself, the exhibition includes iconic illustrations from his collaborations with writers including Michael Rosen and Roald Dahl, as well as lesser-known works. We are delighted that these illustrations will be seen for the very first time at Kirkby Gallery, a fantastic space for contemporary art in the North West.”

The exhibition at Kirkby Gallery is part of a year-long programme of cultural events and activities that will take place across Knowsley in 2022 during its year as the Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture.

Cllr Shelley Powell, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods said: “This will be Kirkby Gallery’s first exhibition to be presented as part of our year as Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture, and what a fantastic start. We are delighted to be bringing this wonderful show to Knowsley and the wider region.

“For many of us, Quentin Blake’s work is synonymous with childhood, whether that’s our own or that of our children, or grandchildren. His beautiful illustrations sparked our imaginations and we can’t wait to see his original work up close.”

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