Ahead of his 90th birthday, our founder Quentin Blake has been appointed to The Order of the Companions of Honour: an award that recognises people who have made lifelong contributions to the arts, science, medicine or government in the UK. There are 65 Companions at any one time, and Quentin will join a group that includes author Margaret Atwood, actor Judi Dench and artist David Hockney.
Quentin says: “Of course it is an enormous privilege to be appointed a Companion of Honour, but it is also of special interest to me because it is not, unlike so many awards, just a medal that is pinned on you. On the one hand it acknowledges what you have done previously, but on the other looks forward to what you are going to do in the future. I have every hope that I have more projects in view but my new role means that I will set about them with renewed effort and enthusiasm.”
It was Quentin’s effort and enthusiasm that founded House of Illustration some 20 years ago. He remains a passionate supporter and an inspiration for our future plans. His fascination with the way illustration makes a mark on the world and his belief in empowering people to tell their stories are at the heart of our vision for the Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration, the new permanent home for our exhibitions and participatory projects that will open in Clerkenwell in 2024.
As Quentin says, “it will be so wonderful that everybody can come together – they can do drawing, they can look at drawing, they can do illustration projects, they can talk about the history – it is going to be absolutely extraordinary”.
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