Quentin Blake - As large as life

12 January 2012 - 15 April 2012

Free with Museum admisssion, booking not required. For more information on admission prices and getting to the Foundling Museum please click here.

"...an exhibition which is ambitious, intrepid and joyful." The Telegraph

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.

Quentin Blake explains, “I think the very presence of pictures helps to make being in, or visiting a hospital a more normal, less alien experience. What I have tried to include is a certain amount of detail, some interesting activities, and some suggestions of the little drama of relationships, so that the viewers - especially any who have to wait - may feel the desire to go on looking and perhaps even to speculate about the stories happening in front of them."

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 (directed by Olivia Humphreys), 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. The exhibition has been made possible through the support of those who took part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge, the patrons of Mr Handel's Charitable Works Concert, with additional support from Artfinder.

Foundling Museum launches it's first iPad app!

In partnership with Artfinder, the Foundling Museum has launched a new exhibition iPad app, widget and limited edition prints for Quentin Blake – As large as life.

The iPad app provides a closer look at Quentin Blake – As large as life, and features a video interview with the artist explaining his working methods, as well as a selection of high-resolution images of works from each of the four hospital series that are on exhibition at the Foundling Museum. All images are enhanced by digital zoom and descriptive information. These images can also be viewed on Artfinder’s collection page and in the widget below. You can also purchase two very special and exclusive limited edition prints from the app or from the Foundling Museum Shop.



Images: From the series' Planet Zog and Mothers and Babies Underwater © Quentin Blake


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