House of Illustration

The House of Illustration is the world’s first centre dedicated to the art of illustration in all its forms.

Our aim is to put illustration centre stage and give it the attention it deserves, revealing the creative processes behind illustration and the way in which it impacts on our daily lives. We want to inspire young people to create illustrations for the world of tomorrow, generate excitement and spark imagination about illustration.

Venue Type:

Gallery

Opening hours

10am - 6pm, Tuesdays to Sundays

Admission charges

Please check before visiting

Getting there

The nearest underground station is King's Cross – take the Regent's Canal exit. Turn right to join King's Boulevard, a pedestrian route going north. Cross over the road and the canal at the top of the Boulevard, and Granary Square is directly in front of you. Head towards the north-east corner and House of Illustration is the smaller building on the right.

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
The Life of Birds

Quentin Blake: The Life of Birds

  • 5 May — 1 October 2017 *on now

"A rare chance to see a selection of original drawings by Blake and enjoy a tightly-focused exhibition dedicated to one of his most rewarding subjects" – Creative Review.

"Brilliantly quirky ornithology and a 'kindly but penetrating' commentary on the human condition” – The Telegraph

This exhibition, curated by Quentin Blake himself, is the first ever to examine a theme that has intrigued him throughout his career – birds.

“I have always liked drawing birds. I can't quite explain why but it may be because like us, they are on two legs and have expressive gestures. It's a way of commenting on the people we see around us without actually drawing individuals.”

It will show a series of original drawings from his personal archive of birds in everyday situations, revealing a kindly but penetrating commentary on the human condition. The subtleties of the birds’ interactions show Blake’s mastery of conveying emotion through expression and gesture, a hallmark of his illustrations.

Many of the works on show were published in Blake’s 2005 book The Life of Birds. The exhibition will also show personal drawings created since 2005 alongside illustrations for Figaro Litteraire, the weekly literary supplement to French daily newspaper Le Figaro. In the introduction to the book illustrator Peter Campbell commented:

“These pictures are the product of half a century spent bringing characters to life on the page. In The Life of Birds Blake follows the path of great illustrators – Grandville and Lear – and fabulists – Aesop and La Fontaine. Blake’s birds are more like novelists’ characters than moralist’s examples. Like Daumier, he creates individuals who are examples of, but not reduced to, types. The drawings are, by turns, insidiously charming, absurdly sad and fiercely observant. They suggest feelings about getting old, about the life of art, about the insufferability of silly people and the unpleasantness of bullies.”

The Quentin Blake Gallery at House of Illustration is the only place in the world to show a continuous but changing exhibition of Blake’s work, exploring his archive of over 35,000 drawings, most of which have never been publicly displayed. It offers a unique insight into the artistic practice of one of the world’s defining illustrators.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Adult ticket with gift aid: £8.25
Adult ticket: £7.50
Concession ticket with gift aid: £5.50
Concession ticket: £5
Child ticket with gift aid: £4.40
Child ticket: £4
Family ticket with gift aid: £19.80
Family ticket: £18

Website

http://www.houseofillustration.org.uk/whats-on/current-future-events/quentin-blake-the-life-of-birds

Background illustration for Ghost in the Shell (1995), cut 477 Watercolour on paper and acrylic on transparent film

Anime Architecture: Backgrounds of Japan

  • 26 May — 10 September 2017 *on now

This is the UK’s first ever exhibition of handmade background illustrations for classic sci-fi anime films. It features drawings and paintings from some of the most influential productions in the genre’s 1990s heyday, including Production I.G’s phenomenally influential 1995 film Ghost in the Shell.

This collection of artists, who share an interest in presenting convincing visions of future worlds, have had a defining influence on the style of anime we think of as typical today.

The show includes Hiromasa Ogura’s watercolour paintings for Ghost in the Shell, an anime epic that informed pioneering sci-fi works such as The Matrix and Avatar. Inspired by Asia’s emerging megacities and based on photographs of Hong Kong, Ogura’s work depicts the striking contrast between a derelict Chinese town and ruthless urban development.

Pencil drawings by Takashi Watabe – one of the most important Japanese illustrators of his generation – for 2008’s sequel Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence also feature. His meticulously realistic style has become a hallmark of Japanese anime films as a whole.

The exhibition also includes work from Patlabor: The Movie (1989) and Metropolis (2001), by Mamoru Oshii and Atsushi Takeuchi.

Since the success of Akira (1988) and Ghost in the Shell, Japanese anime films have been at the heart of global pop culture. A live action remake of Ghost in the Shell starring Scarlett Johansson was released on 31 March 2017.

In association with Les Jardins des Pilotes, Berlin.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Adult ticket with gift aid £8.25
Concession ticket with gift aid £5.50
Child ticket with gift aid £4.40
Family ticket with gift aid £19.80
Adult ticket £7.50
Concession ticket £5.00
Child ticket £4.00
Family ticket £18.00

Website

http://www.houseofillustration.org.uk/whats-on/current-future-events/anime-architecture-backgrounds-of-japan

Jacqueline Ayer: Little sister thinking

Jacqueline Ayer: Drawing on Thailand

  • 16 June — 22 October 2017 *on now

Jacqueline Ayer's picture books were a remarkable addition to 1960s America. Documenting her family’s life around the back lanes of Bangkok, they were the first books published in the US to depict Asian culture authentically. The Paper-Flower Tree and Nu Dang and his Kite will be reissued by Enchanted Lion Books to coincide with the exhibition, for the first time in almost 60 years.

Born in 1930s New York to Jamaican parents, Ayer grew up with Milton Glaser in the first interracial housing in the US. She illustrated for Vogue and worked alongside Andy Warhol before moving to Thailand in the 1950s.

Whilst there she also founded fashion company Design Thai, creating textiles and garments without colonial overtones – her reference book Oriental Fashion is still used by London College of Fashion today.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Adult ticket with gift aid: £8.25
Adult ticket: £7.50
Concession ticket with gift aid: £5.50
Concession ticket: £5
Child ticket with gift aid: £4.40
Child ticket: £4
Family ticket with gift aid: £19.80
Family ticket: £18

Website

http://www.houseofillustration.org.uk/whats-on/current-future-events/jacqueline-ayer-drawing-on-thailand

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Illustrators' Summer Fair

Illustrators' Summer Fair

  • 9 July 2017 12-6pm

We're set to transform our giant canopied yard into a pop-up market place, selling a range of freshly illustrated produce for one day only.

150 hand-picked stalls will showcase the diverse talent illustration has to offer. Work for sale will include prints, books and ceramics across styles from children's illustration to graphic design and comics.

Plus, this year we're excited to be joining forces with The London Artists Book Fair. 40 exhibitors will display a range of book-making methods including letterpress and riso printing - an exciting opportunity to see contemporary makers showcasing their latest work.

Come along to browse this stunning collection of unique products, or make a day of it and stop by the House of Illustration where we're offering 2for1 entry to the galleries between 12-6pm (last entry 5.30pm).

Suitable for

  • Any age

Getting there

The nearest underground station is King's Cross – take the Regent's Canal exit. Turn right to join King's Boulevard, a pedestrian route going north. Cross over the road and the canal at the top of the Boulevard, and Granary Square is directly in front of you. Head towards the north-east corner and House of Illustration is the smaller building on the right.

House of Illustration
2 Granary Square
King's Cross
London
N1C 4BH
England

Website

www.houseofillustration.org.uk

Telephone

020 3696 2020

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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