Last weekend, Cardiff was transformed into a wonderland in City of the Unexpected – a celebration of Roald Dahl‘s life on what would have been his 100th birthday!
When I was a kid, Roald Dahl books formed a huge part of my library and even now, I have nearly a whole shelf dedicated to him. His stories were such a massive part of my childhood and they always seemed to have the perfect balance of obscene grossness and moral life lessons – I couldn’t help but love them! However, while Dahl’s imaginative tales are wonderfully descriptive, I just cannot picture his books without Quentin Blake’s quirky illustrations!
A couple of weeks ago, we decided to visit the Quentin Blake exhibition in the National Museum of Wales to take a look at the iconic artwork that Blake is so famous for.
I have to say that I enjoyed it just as much as my seven year old niece Lily did!
She recently played Mrs Twit in her school play – an outstanding performance, I’m told! – so she was very excited to see Blake’s grotesque depictions of the horrific Mr and Mrs Twit alongside his illustrations of Matilda, a book that I know she will love when she reads it!
It was truly amazing to see the process behind Blake’s artwork, in particular his sketch of Mr Twit. As a completely incompetent artist myself, I really admired his ability to transform Dahl’s descriptions into unique illustrations – I can’t picture Mr Twit any other way.
There were also images from David Walliams’ books as well as Blake’s own and a video showing Blake at work in his studio which showed the varied career that Blake has had and the techniques that he uses to create his one-of-a-kind pieces.
Lily was able to draw her own Mr Twit which was hung up on the wall and we both had a lot of fun guessing which book each illustration came from.
Lily said: ‘I loved it! Mrs Twit was old and hideous and so was Mr Twit. My favourite part of the exhibition was drawing my own picture of Mr Twit. I tried to copy Quentin Blake’s illustrations but I used my imagination for parts of it too.’
I like Quentin’s illustrations of the Twits because they’re hideous and I like hideous and gross things.’ – Lily, age 7
My verdict: 10/10 – ‘a marvellous display of Blake’s finest work!’
Quentin Blake’s ‘Inside Stories’ is on until 20th November 2016 at the National Museum of Wales with free entry.
Read more here: https://museum.wales/cardiff/whatson/8916/Quentin-Blake-Inside-Stories/