Famous illustrator supports Halifax art school

John Ross - Artworks director

One of Britain’s best-loved illustrators has donated a one-of-a-kind drawing to support a much-loved community arts organisation in Halifax.

Sir Quentin Blake KBE, best known for his distinctive illustrations in the books by Roald Dahl, has donated a special drawing to help raise funding for Artworks – an art school, gallery and artist studios in Halifax, that has been significantly affected during the pandemic.

The Collector by Quentin Blake

The drawing, known as The Collector, depicts a man striding downhill with his dogs and an overflowing knapsack.

From the original, which is due to be auctioned privately, a limited edition of 25 signed and numbered prints are to be made available to purchase through Artworks website. With the final print to be a prize in a raffle-style competition.

This is the latest partnership between the illustrator and the organisation which is known as ‘The Everybody School of Art’ due to its ethos of being open to all, and championing the value of art and creativity in everyday life, with Blake having become a patron of the venue in 2017.

Commenting on the donation and working withArtworks, Sir Quentin Blake said: “I draw almost every day of the year and really appreciate the profound effect that it can have on mental health and general wellbeing, particularly during periods of strife. Artworks aims to connect as many people as possible with the healing powers of art and inspire the next generation of artists. It’s a privilege to be associated with such an inspiring institution and I’m delighted that I’m able to support the organisation to continue its important work during these challenging times.”

Artworks director John Ross is a former student of Blake’s and said: “Like so many organisations in our sector, 2020 has been a very difficult year for our school for all the obvious reasons and our future is looking far from secure. A massive thank you then to Quentin for donating to Artworks this important drawing which will hopefully enable us to raise critical funding in this desperate time.

“We’re excited to be able to end the year on a high by offering this rare opportunity to purchase a unique piece of signed Quentin Blake art just in time for Christmas. A founding principle at Artworks is that art should be accessible to all, irrespective of financial circumstances, which is why we’re particularly happy to be running a raffle-style competition to win a signed print, alongside the sale”

The 25 signed prints of The Collector will go on sale at 9am on 11 December on Artworks website, which is also where you can enter the competition to win a print: www.theartworks.org.uk/thecollector.