Quentin Blake is one of Britain's best-loved and most successful illustrators. Well known for illustrating stories by Roald Dahl, Blake was Britain's first Children's Laureate. Quentin Blake As large as life presents recent work created for four hospitals in the UK and France and designed to have a therapeutic effect on their residents.
This exhibition of over sixty works, draws from four series' that were created for a children's hospital, a maternity hospital, young people with eating disorders and older patients with mental health issues. The subject of each illustration will allow visitors to reflect on artists' continuing contribution to hospitals and child welfare. Hanging alongside Blake's work will be paintings by William Hogarth and his contemporaries who donated paintings and sculptures to the Foundling Hospital in the 1740s. The Museum's art collection, spanning more than four centuries, will provide visitors with an unexpected and resonant backdrop; one that situates Blake within a tradition of great artists creating work for hospitals.
Visitors will discover senior circus characters juggling and tightrope walking; alien creatures from Planet Zog swapping doctor and patient roles with young people; young people engaging in activities that celebrate the quiet poetry and pleasures of everyday life and mothers and babies meeting for the first time underwater, in a parallel world where their swimming expresses and celebrates their new-found liberty after the pains of labour.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a short film in which Blake discusses the hospital commisions and his broader artistic practice, a programme of diverse and exciting events, including family activities, talks and a reading corner decorated with Blake's recent designs for wallpapers produced by Osborne & Little.
The exhibition at the Foundling Museum is organised in collaboration with the House of Illustration and Compton Verney.
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