Saturday, 21 January 2017

Long Live Princess Smartypants - Babette Cole

Babette Cole: 10 September 1950  - 14 January 2017
We were deeply saddened and shocked to hear the very sad news of Babette Cole's passing earlier this week.  We have not only lost one of our dearest artists, but more so a good and true friend.  She will be sorely missed by the illustration and publishing community alike.

Babette chats with Jan Pienkowski in 2005
In tribute to Babette, we fondly remember some of the times that we all spent in the IllustrationCupboard Gallery (mostly in floods of laughter as Babette had the most infectious giggle):

Babette and John Huddy celebrating Princess Smartypants' birthday in The IllustrationCupboard

Babette was always the life and soul of the party, throwing her energy into her artwork and giving time to the many fans of her 150+ picture books.

Babette signing books as part of our Winter Exhibition in 2010
She would always dress to impress - here seen with IllustrationCupboard staff all in obligatory bunny ears, for the launch of James and the Giggleberries in 2014.



Full of love and laughter, her humerous and irreverent illustrations brought a smile to readers old and young.

Valentine's Day, the Babette Cole way
Loving life in the IllustrationCupboard on Valentine's Day
Her books helped parents broach difficult subjects with humour, and challenged the status quo: a Princess who didn't like boys, and books about death, childbirth and growing up.

Babette as Princess Smartypants in September 2016

It was only in September 2016 that she was in the gallery, full of life and launching her most recent book Princess Smartypants and the Missing Princes, and celebrating 30 years of Princess Smartypants, with a fabulous cake made by Elizabeth Miles Cake Design, Dorset.


And this is how we shall remember her: for us, she will always be a Princess.  The world will be a duller place without her.  Long live Princess Smartypants.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Past and Present - a review of 2016

With only one week to go until Christmas, and with the saintly sounds of carols drifting through the air, it's time to look back on the year gone by and take stock:

Back in Spring we celebrated the 30th anniversary of Five Minutes Peace by Jill Murphy.  The Large Family are still able to bring joy to old and young alike, as Mrs Large seeks five minutes alone from her rambunctious herd.
Mr Large gets dressed

We then moved into Das Beste Von Allem, which literally translates as 'The pick of the basket'; a delightful book which has been contributed to by a number of acclaimed illustrators, including Axel Scheffler.

After which we held the spotlight over Children's Laureate Chris Riddell celebrating his success from strength to strength in his new role, promoting particular aspects of children's books, including illustration as a means of encouraging young people to get reading.

A selection of original artworks from 'Coraline' by Neil Gaiman

A personal highlight was Shaun Tan's Surrealist Vision at which we were joined by the man himself.  Shaun was nothing but generous with his time, talking with fans as he signed books, and explaining his inspiration (mostly his imagination, and young daughter) which has allowed him to explore using new materials, including the medium of sculpture, which he has found fits around a busy family life more amenably.


We were extremely saddened to hear the news of Brian Wildsmith's passing at the end of August.  He has always had a place in our hearts here at the Illustration Cupboard, with his characterful and colourful artwork enlivening the walls, and we remember fondly the exhibition we held at the gallery back in 2010 to mark his 80th birthday.

Wildsmith's A Troupe of Turkeys
Wildsmith signing books at his 80th birthday exhibition
We celebrated Shirley Hughes's illustrations in all of their colour and energy for the whole of August, while the sun shined.


The gallery was Morph-ed in true Aardman style in September, when we celebrated 40 Years of Aardman Animations.  Peter Lord and David Sproxton visited to sign copies of The Art of Aardman.


Ardizzone wowed in November, when we were lucky enough to host The Blaxland Collection, from private collector Simon Blaxland who had not previously exhibited his personal collection of Edward Ardizzone illustrations.

All illustrators mentioned above have work exhibited in our 21st Annual Winter Exhibition, which will continue into the New Year, running until the 31st January, so we hope to welcome you soon if you haven't yet been able to pop in.
Angela Barrett's 'Beauty Runs in the Garden' from Beauty and the Beast
2017
Next year we've got a really exciting line up of exhibitions and events, with something for everyone. A couple of big highlights include our major exhibition of original artwork from Brambley Hedge by Jill Barklem, and an exhibition of the published artwork from Alexis Deacon's The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde. We'll leave the rest as a surprise for now, but check back in the new year when we will be posting our calendar and revealing the rest of our shows for ther year.

With warmest wishes for Christmas and the New Year,

The Illustrationcupboard team.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Picture Book Party: Introducing ... Walker Studio!

Fantastic blog post from Walker Books on www.picturebookparty.co.uk celebrating last night's success: Picture Book Party: Introducing ... Walker Studio!: Last night the team at Walker HQ cracked the bubbly at the Illustrationcupboard Gallery to celebrate the launch of our brand new imprint, Walker Studio.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

The Singing Bones - Celebration Event 26th October

Yes, October is here and it hasn't stopped drizzling - at long last we have an excuse to hunker down with a book, so let's make it a great one!

Shaun Tan's The Singing Bones was released by Walker Books at the beginning of September to much acclaim.  Inspired by Grimm's Fairy Tales, it has taken the essence of each story and boiled it down to key interactions; what Shaun himself calls "nightmare fodder" in this article by the Financial Times.

Fox and The Devil and his Sooty Brother on display in the Gallery this summer

We are thrilled about the book's release as the sculptures that illustrate the stories took pride of place in our exhibition: Shaun Tan's Surrealist Vision earlier this year.

All between 6cm and 40cm in height, Tan spent around three days on each of the 75 sculptures that adorn the pages of The Singing Bones; moulding, painting, drying and photographing until each figure was complete.  This article by Sian Cain at The Guardian explores Shaun Tan's transition from pencils to clay to create the sculptures.  Images of some of the sculptures that feature in the book can be seen here and we have a few still available to purchase via our website or over the telephone: 0207 976 1727 

Two travellers
The Devil and his Sooty Brother













In addition to the sculptures, we will also be hosting an event at the IllustrationCupboard on Wednesday 26th October 5-8pm to celebrate The Singing Bones, including an exclusive Skype screening with Shaun Tan.  We look forward to welcoming you to the Gallery on the 26th!












Saturday, 18 June 2016

The Art Fair and London Art Week



Art Fair
We will be exhibiting at The Art Antiques London Fair from 24 - 30th June on Stand E16.  The Albert Memorial and Kensington Gardens once again provide the stunning backdrop to one of London's most exciting and glamorous art and antique fairs. Held in a beautiful bespoke pavilion opposite the Royal Albert Hall and close to the site of the Great Exhibition of 1851 Art Antiques London brings together leading international dealers and discerning visitors from all over the world, who can buy with confidence at this strictly vetted sumptuous summer showcase for the arts.  Pop into the gallery to pick up a complementary ticket for two which has an equivalent value of £40.

We will be exhibiting a range of some of the most prolific illustrators of the 20th century: Edward Ardizzone:

Quentin Blake:

and Brian Wildsmith to name a few:


To view the full range of works being exhibited please see our website.  We look forward to welcoming you to stand E16.

London Art Week
Following our stint at Art Antiques London we then roll straight into London Art Week.  This hugely important gallery-based celebration of pre-contemporary art, will take place in Mayfair and St. James’s from 1 - 8 July.  Bringing together almost 50 leading specialist dealers and three auction houses, this year will present more dedicated exhibitions than ever before; and  the IllustrationCupboard Gallery we will be exhibiting one of our favourites: George Butler, whose work is available to view online now and in the gallery from 1 July to coincide with this spectacular celebration.


Displaced People: Reportage Illustration will focus on George's recent travels in Syria and covers the effects of the current migration crisis in Europe.  A selection of original drawings and watercolours are available to purchase online, over the phone and in the IllustrationCupboard Gallery.

The video below from February 2015 by Monocle Magazine explores the emotion and truth behind George's illustrations:

As part of the exhibition we will be hosting a very special evening with the man himself who will be reflecting on his experiences for the most recent exhibition.  Tickets for this event are limited to 25, and £20 each - please contact the gallery directly on 0207 976 1727 to book.






Saturday, 14 May 2016

Shaun Tan is coming to London! Wednesday 1 June 2016

Shaun Tan's 'A Surrealist Vision' exhibition launched on 11 May with a very successful Private View which was well attended by fans of the prolific illustrator and film-maker.

View of the gallery from the outside

You can meet the genius himself, as he is coming to London and will be in attendance at the IllustrationCupboard Gallery on 1st June from 4-7pm for a book signing event.


It is set to be a popular event so early arrival is recommended.  Please note that only books sold in the gallery will be able to be signed.

Our latest Shaun Tan exhibition 'A Surrealist Vision' features a combination of pastel and pencil drawings along with an array of sculptures for purchase.  See the Shaun Tan exhibition page of the website for more details.

The sculptures are a beautiful collection, with witty titles and imagery, such as The Devil and his Sooty Brother:

The Devil and his Sooty Brother

Fox


This sculptures all have a recognisable element to them, but are surreal, dreamlike forms which emerge from much artistic exploration and experimentation.  Tan has also employed a number of techniques and glazes in the creation of these miniature marvels, which help to animate them within the imagination.
The Master Thief

The Surrealist Vision Exhibition
Alongside Tan's sculptures and drawings we also have a selection of his books available to purchase, including the yet-to-be-released copy of The Singing Bones due to be published in the UK in September 2016, which can be ordered in hardback or as a limited gift box edition with exclusive signed and numbered print.

Back by popular demand, we have also produced a catalogue featuring 43 pages of stunning images from the exhibition, which include a brief commentary from Tan, available to purchase online, in the gallery and over the telephone for £20.

Iron Hans and Limited Edition Catalogues

The exhibition runs from 11 May until the 11 June 2016.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Exhibitions and events for 2016

Spring is around the corner, and in the gallery we've assembled a fantastic line-up of treats for 2016 to see you through the year:

First up is 2 - 15 March: Jill Murphy's Five Minutes Peace 30th Anniversary


The book sees Mrs. Large search in vain for somewhere to relax from her rambunctious children.  The gallery presents a varied display of Jill's original published drawings and watercolours.  This exhibition is only up for a few more days, so make sure you don't miss it!

22 March - 2 April: Das Beste Von Allem: Contemporary German Illustration, featuring Axel Scheffler
Translating literally as 'Best of All', Das Beste Von Allem is a catalogue of many things, portrayed by 60 illustrators, including Axel Scheffler, our favourite German talent.  It represents the best of German illustrators doodling together.


22 - 23 April: Lismore Story Festival: Towers and Tales (Ireland)
We plan to once again cross England's noble shores to spend a weekend with our good friends in Lisamore.  Held within the grounds of Lismore Castle, the festival was borne out of the idea that every child in Ireland should be gifted a free book to encourage literacy and spark imagination.
Visitors at Towers and Tales Lismore's Story Festival 2015
Last year's event was a great success so we look forward to welcoming you to the Emerald Isle for a weekend of frolics, fantasy and illustration fun!

13 - 30 April: Children's Laureate Chris Riddell
To celebrate Chris' fantastic work as the current Children's Laureate we will be displaying an array of his graphic work, alongside a number of his well-known books; including the more recent Doodle-a-Day book by Macmillan.
A selection of Chris' character studies from his Instagram page (top two rows - https://www.instagram.com/chris_riddell) and the IllustrationCupboard website
The exhibition will also feature a book signing event with the man himself - exact dates to be confirmed - so keep an eye on our Twitter page for up to date information.

11 May - 11 June: Shaun Tan's Surrealist Vision 
A sneak preview of some of the wonderful Shaun Tan artwork that will be on display
This will be an ecclectic mix of some of Shaun Tan's latest work.  Covering the mediums of pastel, painting and drawing, Tan's surrealist workings of foreign lands where the imagination is allowed to run wild encapsulate a melting pot of nature and culture that surpasses reality.

1 - 8 July: London Art Week 2016 featuring George Butler
The whole of London will be buzzing as the annual London Art Week Festival takes hold.  The IllustrationCupboard will be exhibiting a special feature on George Butler, reportage illustrator and V&A Illustration Award Winner.
George drawing in Serbia in the latter part of 2015 - more information about this trip is available on Buzzfeed

13 - 30 July: Looking at Graphic Novels with Alexis Deacon
In mid-July we will be throwing light on Alexis Deacon's new book Geis, published by Nobrow books, alongside other artworks from well-known publications and comics.

Geis Alexis Deacon's new book released in June and exclusively signed for IllustrationCupboard

August in Tokyo: Anita Jeram in Tokyo
In August, in association with Kyuryudo Art Publishing Co., the IllustrationCupboard will be hitting the eastern market with an array of spectacular drawings by Anita Jeram, at NADiff Norden Bookshore, Shibuya in central Tokyo.

3 August - 3 September: The Enchanting World of Shirley Hughes
Key works from Shirley Hughes' archive will be returning to the walls of the Illustration Cupboard, where visitors will be able to view Shirley's evocations of British life through well-known and much loved characters.

21 September -15 October: 40 Years of Aardman Animations
The balloons will be up as we join Aardman Animations in celebrating 40 years of success.  This four-times Oscar-winning studio has gone from strength to strength with memorable features such as Creature ComfortsShaun the Sheep and of course Wallace and Gromit.


19 - 30 October: 4th Annual Political Cartoon Exhibition
From satire to spoof we will be welcoming the best and brightest that the political cartoon scene has to offer.
Top: Christian Adams
Middle: Jeremy Banks aka BANX
Bottom: Paul Thomas

2 - 19 November: The Art of Edward Ardizzone
At the Library Table

A celebrated war artist, author and illustrator, Ardizzone's iconic watercolours and drawings will be on display in the gallery in early November.

23 November - 31 January 2017: 21st Annual Winter Exhibition

Now in its 21st year, the Annual Winter Exhibition will return with aplomb showcasing some of the world's finest illustration art from around the world.  One of the major events of our calendar year, this exhibition is not to be missed.

We'll hope you'll agree it's a jam-packed lineup for the rest of the year, so we look forward to welcoming you to the gallery and sharing the experience with you!