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
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.