Quentin Blake Exhibition at the House of Illustration

House of Illustration is the home for the art of illustration, it opened it's doors in Summer 2014 in the regenerated King's Cross area. I hadn't been to this newly regenerated area so it was a surprise to find a wide open space with fountains, a clean canal and a bridge- a great change from what King's Cross used to be like years ago!

Granary Square, Kings Cross

For it’s inaugural show the House of Illustrations is exhibiting Inside Stories: The Art of Quentin Blake. For millions of people around the world the scratchy, knobbly, angular style of Quentin Blake's art style is instantly recognisable. He is one of the UK’s most important and best-loved illustrators who is able to capture the subtleties of surprise, joy, nervousness, longing....

I was very excited at the prospect of seeing his rough drafts and learning about his illustration processes as his work has always seemed so sketchy and erratic, it is this unique art style that first drew me to Blake's illustrations. One of my earliest school memories was of having my infant school teacher read Mr  Magnolia, who apparently only had one boot...

Mr Magnolia by Quentin Blake

The exhibition did not disappoint, many of Quentin Blake's books were represented but having illustrated for over 60 years not all his works were on show. However the pieces present were: Sad, Story of the Dancing Frog, Candide (a book by Voltaire!), How Tom Beat Captain Nojak and his Hired Sportsmen, The Wild Washerwomen, The Twits, Clown and The Boy in the Dress. As well as having the illustrations there was a short film showing how Blake went about creating his pieces.

The exhibition is open until 2nd November and I would recommend that any fan of Blake's work to go. The House of Illustrations runs many activities and is open for school groups too... what a great idea for a school trip!