Saturday was the big opening day of my exhibition. Thank you SO much to all those who turned up to support me. And thank you to the gallery for the wine and nibbles!
This is me with the lovely Damian Harvey, author of An Itch to Scratch (as well as many other fab books, including the incredibly successful Robo-Runners series).
As well as the preview evening, the Funday celebrations proved a huge success, and the day was really buzzing. I hardly sat down from the moment we opened the doors!
I did storytellings throughout the day, and children played in the monkey's tea party area, based on Stinky!:
They could stick their heads through a hole in the wall to actually be one of the monkeys:
...and on the other side, they could be one of the children the anaconda ate in Class Two at the Zoo:
I am hoping that children might be inspired to try some illustrations of their own, so we created a drawing area, with ideas for things to try, including step-by-step guides to drawing characters from my books, like Giddy Goat (which I will eventually get around to putting on the website - promise!):
There are other silly activities, like stick-the-flies-on-Stinky, the baby warthog:
...and also a quiet reading area (below), with copies of my books for children to look at.
Throughout the day, children made Giddy Goat puppets and had their faces painted by one of the most impressive face-painters I've seen. I SO wish I'd had time to stop and take some pics to show you (these photos were all taken in the brief window, before the Private View really got going).
Apart from the face painting, the children's activities are a permanent part of the exhibition, but I don't want you to think it's just aimed at kids. For adult visitors, I have written a whole series of information sheets which are mounted on the walls between the pictures. These cover everything from why I choose to draw on pink paper and why wording must never appear on the illustrations, to anecdotes like the gorilla nipple debacle!
The exhibition runs until November 7th, so there is plenty of time to see it if you missed the preview. It is at Tameside Central Art Gallery, above the library (postcode OL6 7SG). There are directions and details of how to get there here, or you can phone the gallery on 0161 342 2650.
Hope you enjoy it!