June 14, 2017

This July, the Burton at Bideford will host Sir Quentin Blake and Sir Antony Gormley exhibitions at the same time.

The juxtaposition of “The BFG in Pictures” by Blake, and “Prints by Antony Gormley” is an unprecedented coup for north Devon; these two esteemed, knighted artists are amongst the most influential working in Britain today.

Famous for his illustrative collaborations with children’s author, Roald Dahl, Blake’s exhibition includes 40 illustrations specially chosen by the man himself, focusing on Dahl’s classic tale about Sophie and the Big Friendly Giant. It is a reflection on illustrating the book, and many of the sketches are ones never before seen by the public.

The Blake exhibition will also include family-friendly activities, a storytelling area, colouring-in station and video documentaries.

Gormley created Angel of the North (1998), Another Place (1997), the Crosby beach life-size cast-iron sculptures of 100 people submerged by the tide, and Event Horizon (2007) a temporary installation of 31 life-sized casts of the artist himself, dispersed across the tops of buildings and streets in cities such as London, New York and Hong Kong. Gormley challenges people’s perceptions of their environment, and the prints and aquatints in this exhibition evoke themes of freedom and confinement.

The cultural significance of both artists’ work is underlined by their popularity and, also, their social impact on British history.

Exhibitions and Collections Manager, Warren Collum, said: “We’re honoured to have these two stunning – and very different – exhibitions coming to us. Blake’s illustration style is well-known by children and adults across the world, and Gormley’s love of exploring how humans are conditioned by their built environment, makes these two artists’ work a formidable showcase to be hosting here in the southwest.”

The BFG in Pictures is a touring exhibition from the House of Illustration (HoI) and starts on July 15, with a special Talk and Tour by HoI curator Olivia Ahmad on July 22 at 2pm.

Prints by Antony Gormley opens in the Burton at Bideford on July 22 and will be on display until September 8.

The Burton at Bideford is open 10-4 Mon to Sat and 11-4 on Sundays.


Notes to editors


Warren Collum, Exhibitions and Collections Manager