Joyous display of drawings for children at The Base, Greenham

The Base, Greenham has re-opened after the lockdown with a wonderful display of children’s illustrations.

“Quentin Blake and John Yeoman – 50 Years of Children’s Books” is a sparkling exhibition of exquisite drawings.

Cartoonist, illustrator and children’s writer, Sir Quentin Blake has personally curated the show. He is perhaps best-known for his collaboration with Roald Dahl. His images for the books “BFG”, “The Twits” and “Matilda” (among many others) have delighted generations of children.

Quentin Blake began working with author John Yeoman in 1960.

Their prolific creativity since has produced a gorgeous collection of illustrations which you can enjoy at The Base until December 4th.

Works shown include the drawings for “Sixes and Sevens” (1971), “The World’s Laziest Duck” (1991),”The Hermit and the Bear” (1984) and “The Heron and the Crane” (1999) .

In a central room within the venue, there’s a showing of drawings originally drawn by Quentin Blake for a hospital ward in Harrow. This is part of work he has done for NHS hospitals since 2005, in association with the Nightingale Project. The Harrow pictures are of circus performers and were later adapted by Blake and Yeoman to form a book about a circus family and their stunning antics. Called “The Fabulous Foskett Family Circus”, it was first published in 2013.

Perhaps the most charming drawings come from the first year of Yeoman and Blake’s work together. The images for “A Drink of water” are very simple but wonderfully joyous. One shows a boy saying goodbye to his mother as he punts down the river on a raft. It is just a few strokes of Quentin Blake’s pen but it enchants the viewer in a delightful way.

There are plenty of panels which describe the story of Blake and Yeoman and their marvellous books.

Also on display are some of the pens, brushes and paint used by Blake. All the drawings are original and show little pencil marks and correcting fluid which you don’t normally see in the finished books.

It is all a delightful and fascinating insight into one of the most enduring partnerships in children’s literature.

The Base Greenham is in Communications Road, Greenham Business Park, Greenham RG19 6HN. There is the excellent “Honesty Café” in the same building. So it makes for a nice few hours out. There is parking adjacent to The Base.

For more details of this exhibition and The Base, please click on the image below to go to their website:

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