The inimitable Sir Quentin Blake is returning to the Jerwood Gallery to cast his charming and phantasmagorical eye over
Hastings for an exclusive new exhibition, Quentin Blake: Life Under Water – A Hastings Celebration (2nd July-6th September).
The celebrated illustrator and first Children’s Laureate has created 24 new works that combine the vitality and vibrancy of the
famous, historic town and the sea that defines it.
With his fluid, energetic brushwork, Quentin captures the vitality of the land, but sets it beneath the waves. Hence pirates swirl merrily around in
the briny with dogs chasing sticks, children playing on the beach, street performers, Morris dancers and fish.
Although he is most famous for his collaboration with Roald Dahl and illustrating children’s books, Quentin says: “It’s not an exhibition for
children, even though it’s one that they won’t have any difficulty with, and it’s not a collection of drawings by me that the Jerwood happens to be
putting on. I have created it specifically for the gallery and the works won’t appear anywhere else.”
Jerwood Director, Liz Gilmore is delighted to host a new, larger show following last year’s successful Quentin Blake: Artists on
the Beach - “He’s one of Hastings’s treasures and there was an overwhelming public response to his show at the Jerwood
Gallery last summer. This gave impetus to a conversation with him to make a larger show of original works specifically about
Hastings. Quentin took that and sought his inspiration from under the sea, for this beachside gallery. Many aspects of the
Hastings calendar, such as the traditional May Day ‘Jack in the Green’ Festival, are pictured under water in his
characteristically humorous and touching style.”
All the works are exclusively available for sale through Jerwood Gallery for £3000 each. There will also be a wide range of
products for sale through shop, including prints of the original drawings. A percentage of the profit will go towards supporting
the future artistic programme of Jerwood Gallery, which is an independent, not-for-profit organisation.
The exhibition will form part of a larger summer Festival of the Sea – including parallel exhibitions over the summer by the
contemporary British artist Rachel Howard and works by L.S. Lowry.