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Illustration of a line of people carrying bags, walking up a steep mountain under a red sky.

Quentin Blake: Illustrating Verse

Currently showing at:

Lighthouse, Poole Centre for the Arts
29 September 2023 to 6 January 2024

“The choice of moments, and a sense of discretion about what to draw and what not to draw, is particularly important in the business of illustrating poetry.” Quentin Blake

Quentin Blake has been writing and illustrating poetry throughout his 60-year career. Many of his own books feature rhymes and songs, and he has collaborated with writers including Michael Rosen and Roald Dahl.

Line drawing of a guitar-playing owl and a cat in a sailing boat under moon and stars
Drawing of three cats grooming themselves

As well as artwork for popular nursery rhymes like The Owl and the Pussycat, the exhibition features previously unseen works from Blake’s archive – surreal illustrations for Sylvia Plath’s The Bed Book and mischievous cats for T. S. Elliot’s The Song of the Jellicles.

Sketchbooks and rough drawings give a rare insight into Blake’s writing and design process, as well as the creation of characters for Roald Dahl’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

This exhibition features original illustrations courtesy of Quentin Blake.

Visit LighthouseAccess information

Line drawings of: children fishing from a bed boat, cats sleeping on a chaise lounge and people performing acrobatics on a bedframe.
Line drawings of eight people ticked into a large bed with another bed beneath, one person asleep in a long bed and one in a short bed.
Line drawing of three children in a hammock in treetops surrounded by birds
Line drawing of four children riding an elephant, watched by a tiger and monkey

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