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Sir Quentin Blake with Jerwood Gallery director, Liz Gilmore

Sir Quentin Blake with Jerwood Gallery director, Liz Gilmore

Sir Quentin first artist patron of Jerwood 

Today, Friday 23 March, the Jerwood Gallery has officially, delightedly announced that Sir Quentin Blake has agreed to become its first artist patron. Gallery Director, Liz Gilmore, her colleagues and trustees respect and admire not only Blake’s creative talent, but also his passion and commitment towards Hastings and the Jerwood, which they feel make him an ideal candidate for the role of patron. Zelly Restorick writes.

With the Jerwood Gallery almost in sight of  his home, Sir Quentin Blake and the gallery have enjoyed a mutually supportive relationship since its opening in 2012. Sir Quentin has given the gallery his full support – and they have exhibited his work on four separate occasions, demonstrating how proud Hastings is to be home to such a prolific, much-loved artist, living national treasure and now, perfect ambassador.

Speaking in 2017, Sir Quentin commented: “What I could never have imagined is that someone would build an art gallery at the end of my road which is within walking distance, that’s wonderful, and it’s such a nice art gallery as well. It’s absolutely what one could wish.”

See this link for a short film about Sir Quentin and his exhibition at The Jerwood last year, The Only Way To Travel.

Close ties with the town

“Quentin will bring a number of qualities to the role,” says Jerwood Gallery Director, Liz Gilmore. “These include insight, integrity, creative inspiration and a keen understanding of Hastings. Not only these but he exemplifies a sense of heritage, in terms of his background as a world-renowned illustrator and artist but also his close ties with the town.

“His appeal is almost universal, as successive generations have grown up with his work or are familiar with his illustrations for the likes of Michael Rosen, Roald Dahl and David Walliams. His popularity and sheer accessibility makes him an almost unique route into art, with his work creating a natural transition from popular to fine art.”

“It is a great honour for Jerwood Gallery that he has agreed to the role and we look forward to working more closely with him in the years to come.”

Sir Quentin Blake © Pete Jones pete@pjproductions.co.uk

Sir Quentin Blake © Pete Jones pete@pjproductions.co.uk

Cementing of a relationship

Sir Quentin Blake said: “It’s wonderful to be able to cement my relationship with the gallery by becoming a patron. Collaborating with the Jerwood has opened up for me possibilities in my work that I would not have discovered without the encouragement of Liz Gilmore and her colleagues. Their expectations have prompted me to explore new approaches and enabled me to touch on new themes (migration, mental health, and other aspects of our lives) in the knowledge that the results will find themselves sympathetically shown in this extraordinary gallery. They are truly pictures for Jerwood Gallery.”

Sir Quentin’s first act in his new role as patron was to announce that children accompanying adults to the gallery will enjoy free entry from Friday 30 March, the start of the Easter holidays. Entry for up to four children under 16 is free with each paying adult. The scheme has no end date. The initiative has been enabled by Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisation funding, as Jerwood Gallery joins the portfolio of funded organisations this April.

When they come to the gallery, children can take part in a new Family Trail: #Everyoneisanartist. The trail encourages visitors to think of themselves as artists and practice their skills as they explore the gallery. It inspires intergenerational working and has a digital element where parents/carers can post their children’s work on social media to celebrate their success.

Moonlight Travellers, Sir Quentin’s latest exhibition is on view until 15 April.

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

Pocket bio of Sir Quentin Blake: He was born in 1932.  He read English at Downing College, Cambridge; Education at the London Institute of Education and attended life classes at Chelsea School of Art.  He taught illustration for over twenty years at the Royal College of Art.  His first illustrated book, A Drink of Water by John Yeoman appeared in 1960, and since then he has worked on over 300, collaborating, with many other writers including Russell Hoban, Michael Rosen, and Roald Dahl.  He is also known for his own picture books such as Clown and Zagazoo, and his illustrations for the Folio Society to classics such as Don Quixote, Candide and The Golden Ass.  In the past fifteen years he has also worked on many projects for museums, hospitals, and other public spaces in England and in France.  In 1999 he was appointed first Children’s Laureate.  He was knighted in 2013 for services to illustration, and he is also a Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur.  He has written two books about his own work, Words and Pictures and Beyond the Page.  He lives in London and Hastings, and among other projects he is at present at work on a large wall hanging for the renovated Hastings Children’s Library.

Posted 15:58 Friday, Mar 23, 2018 In: Arts News


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