We went to see the Quentin Blake exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge today. Got there really early (free, but timed ticket entry) before it was too full. It is a small exhibition but full of wonder, for me and my son. He grew up with us reading Roald Dahl and laughing at Blake’s characterful drawings. Seeing the real thing is always better isn’t it? What amazed us was we could almost hear the scritchy-scratchiness of his pens. The drawings were full of gesture and movement and conversation. We amused ourselves (is this a good point to tell you my son is 27, not 7?) by inventing the conversations… between the beaky tour guide and tourists; the women and birds; the women and babies; the birds and dogs. Conversation was everywhere, except, curiously, the drawing of the only two “real” people? Gesture and movement caused us to emulate – I especially loved “Big healthy girls” the large colourful woman with lots of uncontrollable hair struck a chord, and we tried to strike her pose – she was wonderful and I want her on my wall. By the time we came away, the room was filling, with adults and children, all of whom were laughing and doing the same poses and actions we had done.
A really unserious look at art. Made us giggle, put smiles on our faces, brought the sun out. Well done Mr Blake, you clever man!