Famous illustrator is a Hastings treasure

Quentin Blake exhibition at Jerwood Gallery, Hastings.''Quentin is pictured with some of his work. SUS-150507-090952001
Quentin Blake exhibition at Jerwood Gallery, Hastings.''Quentin is pictured with some of his work. SUS-150507-090952001

Sir Quentin Blake is back at the Jerwood Gallery casting his quirky, charming and phantasmagorical eye over our seaside town with his ‘Life Under Water – A Hastings Celebration.’

The celebrated illustrator and first Children’s Laureate has created 24 new works that combine the vitality and vibrancy of the famous, historic community and the sea that defines it.

With his fluid, energetic brushwork, Quentin captures the vitality of the land, but sets it beneath the waves. And so he has created pirates who swirl merrily around in the briny with dogs chasing sticks, children playing on the beach, street performers, Morris dancers and fish.

Although he is most famous for his collaboration with Roald Dahl and illustrating children’s books, Quentin said: “It’s not an exhibition for children, even though it’s one that they won’t have any difficulty with, and it’s not a collection of drawings by me that the Jerwood happens to be putting on.

“I have created it specifically for the gallery and the works won’t appear anywhere else.”

Quentin over the decades has illustrated hundreds of books, apart his work with Dahl, including most recently David Walliams’s children’s stories.

Jerwood Director, Liz Gilmore is delighted to host a new, larger show following last year’s successful Quentin Blake: Artists on the Beach.

She commented: “He’s one of Hastings’s treasures and there was an overwhelming public response to his show at the Jerwood Gallery last summer.

“This gave impetus to a conversation with him to make a larger show of original works specifically about Hastings.

Quentin took that and sought his inspiration from under the sea, for this beachside gallery.

“Many aspects of the Hastings calendar, such as the traditional May Day ‘Jack in the Green’ Festival, are pictured under water in his characteristically humorous and touching style.”

All the works are exclusively available for sale through Jerwood Gallery for £3000 each. There will also be a wide range of products for sale through shop, including prints of the original drawings. A percentage of the profit will go towards supporting the future artistic programme of Jerwood Gallery, which is an independent, not-for-profit organisation.

The exhibition will form part of a larger summer Festival of the Sea – including parallel exhibitions over the summer by the

contemporary British artist Rachel Howard and works by L.S. Lowry.

Quentin Blake: Life Under Water – A Hastings Celebration (July 2 – September 6)

For more information visit jerwoodgallery.org and follow us on Twitter @jerwoodgallery