08 March 2012

Quentin Blake: Swimmers is an exhibition of some of his most recent work for the new maternity department of the university hospital of Angers, France.

Quentin was commissioned to produce drawings for all areas of the unit, which saw the first new arrivals in October 2011.  The mothers and babies shown in the drawings celebrate the first meeting between mother and child, and, says the artist, 'The mothers are in labour, just about to do the most difficult part of it, and I thought how nice it would be to show the metaphorical next stage, where liberty arrives and you meet the small person'.

The exhibition includes eight original works which were not chosen to go into the hospital setting, but are very similar to those which appear in delivery rooms and on the glass faÁade; and giclÈe prints, considerably enlarged from the original drawings ñ in some cases, almost to life size ñ which are some of the forty or so inspirational works that appear (also as enlarged giclÈe prints) throughout the corridors, delivery rooms, midwivesí station and fathersí room in the new maternity unit.  The framed works in the exhibition are accompanied by a specially-commissioned wall hanging which uses three designs created for the midwives' station.

See Quentin Blake talking to 'Varsity' about the exhibition

The exhibition in Clare Hall Gallery, Herschel Street, Cambridge is open daily, 9am - 6pm, and entry is free.  It runs until 30 April 2012.

All framed works in the exhibition are for sale.  A further set of six limited-edition prints from the series (in editions of 100 each) are available, unframed, by mail order from our website.