Thursday, 2 February 2012

Exhibition of Children's Book Illustration

Saturday was the official opening day of the Picture This! show at Gallery Oldham. I am so proud to be part of this show and so impressed with the job curator Anna Simms has done. The shiny, ultra-modern space is great to start with, but her design and colour choices have made it even more gorgeous and they set off the work perfectly. 

It is the variety of styles and techniques in the work on display that really makes this show special though. Katie Viggers's printmaking, Kazuno Kahora's bold, limited colours, Jez Alboroughs's soft paintings, Shirley Hughes's blend of sketchy line and colour - there is just so much to see. The choice of illustrators is really interesting too, from old-hands like Shirley, and of course our ex-laureate Anthony Browne, through to exciting, relative new-comers, like Joe BergerViviane Schwarz and Chris Haughton, amongst many others.

It is hung in an interesting way too, really pointing up the breadth of approach that's possible in children's publishing. My An Itch to Scratch gorilla piece in pastels...

...sits next to similar, but very different, pieces by Anthony Browne and Katie Viggers:

There are also cases with sketchbooks and work in progress, which really helps to get across how different illustrators set about the task of tackling a children's book. This is my case, giving some background to Stinky!, as well as displaying some general sketchbooks:

I had a lovely time taking part in the opening day: in the morning I did a talk for adults in my little corner of the gallery, which was really well attended. Everyone was so keen and interested that I was still answering questions and signing books 45 minutes after I finished speaking.

Which left me just 30 minutes to scoff some of the delicious buffet lunch the gallery had laid on, before I was back in the saddle, doing a storytelling. That too went really well. The gallery has a nice, comfy sofa in one corner, and they set out a storytelling mat and flipchart for the occasion (although I gave up trying to explain to one 3 year old that they needed to sit on the mat facing me, not their mum!). 

I meant to nip from my storytelling straight to Katie Viggers's afternoon monoprinting workshop, but again, there was so much signing, 'thank you's and general saying hello to do, I didn't get away for another hour, so the workshop was more or less over by the time I arrived. I'm not complaining - it's great to be signing lots of books and I still got about 20 minutes playing time, rolling out ink and making a right mess, but didn't produce anything worth bringing home. Did a few decent train portraits on the way home though, so that's ok.

Picture This! is on until Sunday March 11th - do catch it of you can.


Julie Clay Illustration said...

That looks an amazing exhibition Lynne, wish I could have got there. Well done. Your work looks brilliant.

Helen said...

I wish I could get there as it looks right up my street! Sounds like you had a great time and how brilliant to have your work there and give talks/workshops. Wondeful x

Madhusoodanan Kunnoth said...

It was nice description and drawing about our native place Tellicherry.You copied our custom activities and job titles in to paper in different perception..hats off Mam.... Actually I'm the SOftware provider of Pinarayi weavers and accidentally I went throgh this blog...Now eagerly waiting for your updations...Regards

Lynne the Pencil said...

Wow - fancy that Madhusoodanan! Lovely to 'meet' you. I'm so glad you like the way I captured Tellicherry. If you are able, it would be lovely if you could show the weavers the blog post with their pictures in. Did you see the rest of the sketches of the area on my website?