'We Live in Worrying Times'

At: Hastings Contemporary, Rock-a-Nore Road, Hastings TN34 3DW

7 May 2020 - 30 April 2021

More info: https://www.hastingscontemporary.org/exhibition/quentin-blake-we-live-in-worrying-times/

'We Live in Worrying Times', now on show at Hastings Contemporary, brings a new body of work themed around concern for the state of the world. The exhibition was due to open at Hastings Contemporary before Easter 2020 but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and until August was only available online or to selected visitors via teleprescnce 'Robot Tours'.

With the gallery re-opening to visitors before Christmas, these startling new works could  be seen in person.  Quentin explores subject matter and techniques that feel both familiar and radically different, somewhere between the dream-like and profoundly introspective. Displaced figures rove across empty landscapes blasted by war, or ecological crisis; sinister planes and drones haunt the skies above; and dense crowds of closely-cropped portraits, a host of assorted refugees, travellers, orphans, ‘unfortunates’, and some grotesques he has called ‘eroded heads’.  Using watercolours, acrylics, pencil and oil pastel, his work spans a variety of moods and scale.

At the centre of the exhibition is The Taxi Driver, a thirty-by-five foot mural, which he completed in a single day at Hastings Contemporary, that pays homage to Picasso’s Guernica, transposing its anti-war sentiment to the present day. Quentin was inspired to create the work after a strange encounter with a taxi driver in London some years ago, who – lamenting that ‘we live in worrying times’ – encouraged him to take up the mantle of artist-hero and produce a new Guernica for the world, an outcry against the encroaching global disasters of the near future. 
To find out more, and pre-book entry tickets, visit the Hastings Contemporary website.