The House of Illustration – Quentin Blake’s best kept secret & new picture house

A new small but fantastic museum has opened on 2nd July 2014 in London in the heart of King’s Cross regeneration area, The House of Illustration. It actually is the world’s first public gallery and education space dedicated to illustration.

I was incredibly lucky and honoured to meet Quentin Blake whose work is exclusively shown at the House of Illustration in its inaugural exhibition called Inside Stories, a landmark show by Quentin Blake, one of the UK’s most important and best-loved illustrators whose work is recognised worldwide.

quentin blake image

My full interview with Quentin Blake will be published in the Winter issue of the London Mums magazine out in October including some interesting anecdotes about his personal working relationship with Roald Dahl. Watch this space. Meantime take your children to see this extraordinary collection of Quentin’s work which will give a unique insight into the origins of some of Blake’s most characteristic and popular creations, from his illustrations to Roald Dahl’s The Twits and Danny the Champion of the World to his own Clown, The Boy in The Dress by David Walliams and illustrations for books by John Yeoman, Russell Hoban and Michael Rosen.

Quentin Blake

The exhibition brings together first roughs and storyboards, many never shown before, with finished art work to demonstrate how ideas evolved, often in close collaboration with the authors. It will show how Blake brings to bear a wide range of different techniques and media including inks, watercolours and pastels applied with a variety of touch, in response to the particular mood of a book and the nature of its characters, to create his distinctive and unforgettable illustrations.

Quentin Blake exhibition collage

House of Illustration will be the key place to see, learn about and enjoy illustration in all its forms; from picture books to political cartoons, advertisements to animation and scientific drawings to fashion design. It will be a major new arts space, with an accessible and exciting creative programme of exhibitions, talks and events.

Quentin Blake RD illustration 3

Sir Quentin Blake, 81 (although he does not show his age thanks to his lively mind) said: “I am very pleased with the opening of this gallery. The House of Illustration is about to do something remarkable. Illustration has been one of the most distinctive strands in the history of British art and I’m delighted that there will now be a dedicated space where everyone can view, discuss or learn about illustration; British and international; past, present and future”.

Quentin Blake RD illustration 1

The House of Illustration was set up as charity in 2002 by a group of the UK’s leading illustrators and with the support of a strong and committed board of trustees, including Sir Quentin Blake, Charlie and Lola’s author Lauren Child, and Sir Christopher Frayling. House of Illustration is already a vibrant, independent arts organisation which reaches a wide ranging audience through touring exhibitions, international competitions and a pioneering education programme which uses illustration to support creative, literacy and communication skills in primary schools in London.

Quentin Blake RD illustration 2

House of Illustration is funded via support from some of the UK’s leading trusts and foundations, individual donations and self-generated income.

How to get there

House of Illustration, 2 Granary Square, King’s Cross London N1C 4BH
Inside Stories (Quentin Blake exclusive exhibition): 2 July – 2 November 2014
Opening times: 10am – 6pm
Entry: £7.70/£5.50/£4.40 adults/concessions/children

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