Quentin Blake: Birds, Beasts & Explorers

At: Compton Verney, Warwickshire CV35 9HZ

27 May 2023 - 1 October 2023

More info: https://www.comptonverney.org.uk/

Showcasing over 70 original illustrations, this exhibition takes inspiration from recurring themes in Quentin’s work – birds, fantastical flying creatures and the joy of exploring in nature.

Drawings from Quentin's own picture books, including 'Cockatoos' and 'The Green Ship' are alongside illustration work for other authors such as John Yeoman ('The Heron and the Crane', 'Up with Birds!') and Joan Aiken ('Arabel and Mortimer').  Visitors can enjoy a look at more birds, beasts and insects which have appeared in hospitals or other settings beyond the pages of books - including a 3-metre tapestry of a griffin, based on one of Quentin's original watercolours, and drawings of dragons from the series of works for St George's Hospital in Tooting.   The final section of the exhibition takes visitors on a voyage of discovery with the help of Quentin’s creations relating to travel – from airborne sailing boats to unique wheeled inventions and animal-based modes of transport. 

Speaking about the exhibition, which will run until 1 October, its curator Oli McCall said: “There are lots of connections between what visitors will see on the walls of the galleries inside the house, and the wildlife we have in the grounds of Compton Verney.  Follow Quentin’s lead, and take inspiration from the characters he has so memorably created, before embarking on your own adventures that are just waiting to be enjoyed here, amongst our 120 acres of beautiful parkland.  There are dozens of varieties of bird and animal life here to see."