Three seasonal trails highlighting the best of the UK’s wetland nature will be running at London Wetland Centre from 18 May until February 2024 as part of a partnership between renowned illustrator Sir Quentin Blake and the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust.
Throughout the partnership, “Drawn to Water: Quentin Blake at WWT”, London Wetland Centre will run three seasonal trails with guides using selected little seen before illustrations of watery nature from Quentin Blake to help inspire visitors to view the wonder of wetland nature in a different way.
Each of the trails, Spring/Summer, Autumn, and Winter, 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 Quentin Blake’s work
These trails will run alongside a range of art and illustration activities to inspire all ages and abilities, helping everyone experience nature in new, unexpected ways.
London Wetland Centre will also be among the four sites hosting an exhibition of some of Quentin Blake’s wetland-themed artworks from 18 May to 14 July, with images on display using everything from pens, inks and washes to quills from the birds he has illustrated to help bring their subjects to life.
The selection of 54 prints on display provides a unique glimpse into Quentin’s view of wetlands and of how we humans interact with their wildlife, plants and water.
Both the exhibition and the seasonal trails will offer a chance to explore some of Quentin’s lesser-known work on a theme that has intrigued him throughout his life: birds.
Commenting on the partnership 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.”