Current Exhibits

QUENTIN BLAKE: ILLUSTRATING VERSE

Opens 10 Sep 2022 

The first ever exhibition dedicated to Quentin Blake’s illustrations for poetry – on tour across the UK.

“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.

As well as artwork for popular nursery rhymes like The Owl and the Pussycat and classic stories including Alice in Wonderland, the exhibition features previously unseen works from Blake’s archive, such as 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 book design process, as well as the creation of characters for Roald Dahl’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and his own Mr Magnolia.

East Ayrshire Leisure is celebrating Quentin Blake’s 90th birthday this year with a double venue exhibition programme at both the Dick Institute (Illustrating Verse) and the Baird Institute (Book Covers) alongside an extensive primary school creative learning programme of visits and illustration workshops.

This exhibition features original illustrations courtesy of Quentin Blake.

Quentin Blake: Illustrating Verse is a touring exhibition from Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration