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The Base to Reopen with Quentin Blake and John Yeoman's Exhibition of 50 Years of Children's Books

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All the Year Round 2 Quentin Blake rztjna

The Base, based at Greenham Business Park, has announced that it will be welcoming visitors back to its gallery from Friday 18 September as it reopens with an exhibition celebrating much-loved illustrator, Quentin Blake, and his 50-year literary partnership with John Yeoman.

Presented by House of Illustration, this is the first exhibition to celebrate the long-standing partnership of Quentin Blake and John Yeoman. They have created more books together than Blake has with any other author, including Roald Dahl. It includes his very first illustrations for children’s literature from 1960, as well as work from their latest collaboration and 10 projects in between.

Running from Friday 18 September to Sunday 6 December, Quentin Blake & John Yeoman: 50 Years of Children’s Books features artwork from picture books and short novels for children to adaptations of classic folk tales. Illustrations will be exhibited from books including: The Boy Who Sprouted Antlers; Mouse Trouble; The Fabulous Foskett Family Circus; Quentin Blake’s Amazing Animal Stories; The World’s Laziest Duck and other Amazing Records; and Up with Birds.

Families are welcome to enjoy the exhibition at any time but on Parent and Baby Day (16 Oct) there will be crayons and activity sheets available for little ones to enjoy during their visit. There is also a Relaxed Day (18 Nov), where there will be reduced numbers admitted into the gallery and extra staff will be on hand to offer support to those with additional needs.

The dedicated workshop space, The Lookout Studio, will also be reopening from Sunday 27 September with a wide range of workshops including basket weaving, arm knitting, raku clay firing and jewellery making, as well as festive inspired workshops such as creating Christmas candle holders, wire robins and glass fusing a festive wreath. Young visitors aged 7 to 12 can take inspiration in the exhibition in the Create Your Own Comic Book Character course (7 & 14 Nov).

The Base will be following government and industry guidelines so reduced numbers will be permitted in the Gallery and in The Lookout Studio and face coverings should be worn whilst visiting the exhibition. For those who are shielding or who don’t want to take part in person, there is the option to take part in some courses online, via Zoom. Tickets for the exhibition must be booked in advance with a time slot, either online or by telephone.

Katy Griffiths, Director of the Corn Exchange Newbury, which runs activities at The Base, says ‘This exhibition of the cherished illustrations by Quentin Blake is a wonderful way to reopen the gallery doors and is sure to evoke memories across all ages and generations. The team, our artists and practitioners have worked incredibly hard behind the scenes to prepare for reopening and this new season of events at The Base. We know that the arts has a hugely positive impact on our community and we can’t wait to welcome visitors back to The Base once again.

Quentin Blake and John Yeoman: 50 Years of Children’s Books is a touring exhibition from House of Illustration, curated by Quentin Blake, and will be at The Base from Friday 18 September to Sunday 6 December. Gallery opening times: Wednesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm (last entry 4pm). Tickets: £7.50 (£6.50 concs, £6 under-16s, under-5s free, £20 family ticket – 1 adult and 3 children or 2 adults and 2 children).

All tickets for the exhibition, workshops and classes must be booked in advance. To find out more about important information for your visit to The Base, to book tickets and to see the full list of courses and workshops available, visit www.thebasegreenham.co.uk or call the Corn Exchange Box Office on 0845 5218 218 (calls cost 2p per minute plus your telephone company’s access charge).

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