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Drawn to Water: Quentin Blake Exhibition Opens at WWT Castle Espie

WWT Castle Espie has officially opened the Drawn to Water: Quentin Blake exhibition in The Graffan Gallery, Ireland’s only environmental art space. WWT Castle Espie is among four WWT sites hosting the exhibition featuring some of Sir Quentin Blake’s wetland-themed artworks.

The exhibition is part of a partnership between renowned illustrator Sir Quentin Blake and the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT). It explores some lesser-known works from Sir Quentin Blake’s personal archive as well as providing a unique glimpse into his passion for wetlands and how humans interact with wildlife, plants and water.

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WWT Castle Espie will exhibit 54 of Sir Quentin Blake’s wetland-themed prints in two parts throughout autumn and winter. Part 1 (14 Oct - 8 Dec) includes 29 prints with Part 2 (6 Jan - 24 Feb) exhibiting a further 25 prints. Discover beautiful illustrations using everything from pens, inks and washes to quills from the birds he has illustrated to help bring their subjects to life, all rendered in Sir Quentin’s iconic style.

Throughout the partnership, “Drawn to Water: Quentin Blake at WWT”, WWT Castle Espie will run a seasonal trail guide using illustrations of watery nature from Sir Quentin Blake to help inspire visitors to view the wonder of wetlands nature in a different way. The guide will highlight the amazing nature that arrives each season, showcasing new life, sparkling water and visiting birds, helping everyone experience nature in new, unexpected ways through Sir Quentin Blake’s work.

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Commenting on the partnership Sir Quentin Blake said:

I am delighted to be sharing my pictures with WWT sites and their visitors through the Drawn to Water experience. This project appealed to me because I have a lifelong fascination of drawing wetland wildlife, especially birds. I can't quite explain why but it may be because like us, they are on two legs and have expressive gestures. The drawings you will see are from my own personal archive, and many have rarely been seen in public before. Through Drawn to Water I hope that seeing my artwork in places where these creatures are thriving will allow new audiences to enjoy wetland wildlife as much as I do, perhaps prompting a few people to pick up a pen, pencil or even a quill and do their own drawing.

Paul Stewart at WWT Castle Espie added:

We are very excited to launch the Drawn to Water: Quentin Blake exhibition at WWT Castle Espie in The Graffan Gallery. This is a fantastic opportunity for visitors of all ages to reimagine and enjoy the magic and wonder of our beautiful place, and all with the help of this great illustrator. We are also delighted to be one of four WWT sites to host the exhibition. Visitors can view the prints on display and get a unique glimpse into his view of wetlands. Alongside the exhibition we hope visitors will enjoy the seasonal trail as well as a series of arts and illustration activities throughout the autumn and winter season.

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