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Illustration of an elephant with a child sitting on its head. There are buildings in the background.

Bloomin’ Brilliant: The Life and Work of Raymond Briggs

Currently on at:

Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft
27 April to 27 October 2024

“[To be an illustrator] you have to be a mini actor. If the figure is to walk jauntily with its nose in the air, you have to imagine what that feels like. You have to be the person and observe the person, and do both these things at once.” 
– Raymond Briggs

With never-before-seen items form the late author's estate alongside over 100 original artworks, this exhibition delves into the work of the author-illustrator behind some of the UK’s most influential children’s books and graphic novels.

Raymond Briggs (1934–2022) is best-known for silent picturebook The Snowman (1978). But over a 60-year career, Briggs created illustrated books on themes from family relationships and grief to social mobility and political satire.

Spread of comic panels showing a couple discussing plans to prepare for a nuclear attack with government guidelines
Drawing with 7 panels showing a boy and his parents preparing for grammar school

This exhibition includes work from Briggs’s pioneering titles, including The Snowman, and autobiographical graphic novel Ethel and Ernest. On show are his drawings, hand-lettered typography and page designs from his earliest commissions to his 2004 book The Puddleman.

Co-curated by Nicolette Jones.

This exhibition features original illustrations courtesy of the Raymond Briggs Archive and Penguin Random House.

Bloomin’ Brilliant: The Life and Work of Raymond Briggs, a touring exhibition from Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration in collaboration with Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft.

Colour pencil drawing with 12 panels of Bogey family having breakfast
Tracing paper with pieces of hand-drawn text laid over a drawing with corresponding speech bubbles

We were so sorry to hear of the passing of Raymond Briggs in August 2022. Find out more about Raymond’s life and work in our Journal.

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