Taking a Line for a Walk: John Vernon Lord and Friends

At: Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft, Lodge Hill Lane, Ditchling, East Sussex BN6 8SP

20 May 2021 - 12 December 2021

More info: https://www.ditchlingmuseumartcraft.org.uk/event/taking-a-line-for-a-walk/

Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft celebrates an icon of illustration, alongside work for children by his students and contemporaries.

Taking a Line for a Walk marks 50 years of revered illustrator John Vernon Lord’s life and work in Ditchling. Lord is one of Britain’s most recognised and respected illustrators, owing both to his own practice, and his pioneering contribution to education across almost six decades. Lord has illustrated many classics of English literature including the work of Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, Aesop’s fables and James Joyce and is regarded as a pillar of the local arts community in Ditchling where he has lived since the 1970s. Also an author in his own right, Lord has written and illustrated a number of children’s books including The Giant Jam Sandwich (1972), which has since become a modern classic.

Taking a Line for a Walk will feature over 100 extraordinary pen and ink drawings alongside notebooks from across Lord’s career, from his student days in the late 1950s, to his move to Ditchling in the 1970s, through to a new work made in response to the global pandemic.

The exhibition will also chronicle the careers of some of the country’s most celebrated illustrators. The museum’s William & Margaret Rowling Gallery will play host to illustrations for children’s books by Lord’s former students from the University of Brighton where he taught as Professor of Illustration from 1986, including author and illustrator of the hugely successful Old Bear books, Jane Hissey and children’s author and Observer political cartoonist, Chris Riddell OBE.

These pieces will be presented alongside original artworks by Lord’s contemporaries, including Peter Bailey’s illustrations of Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials; works - both finished and preliminary drawings - from Voltaire’s Candide illustrated by Quentin Blake (pictured above); Oi Get off Our Train by author and illustrator John Burningham and Helen Oxenbury’s illustrations in Trish Cooke’s modern classic, So Much.