If you live in or near to Bath or are planning a visit there during the next couple of months, make sure you go along to the wonderful Here Be Dragons exhibition at the Victoria Art Gallery. This is an ideal event for families, but aficionados of children’s book art will be equally enthralled.
Over 70 pieces of artwork are on display around the walls of a spacious airy room. In the centre there are tables for drawing and an area to cosy up and share some favourite dragon stories. There are tactile images for younger visitors to touch and feel; and a display cabinet of fascinating dragon related objects and artefacts.
The original artwork on display includes work by former Children’s Laureates Sir Quentin Blake and Chris Riddell. There is also a collection of drawings by Cressida Cowell, which I overheard a parent explaining to his son – ‘you know the How to Train Your Dragon films – well they were based on a book and these are the drawings by the lady who wrote the book …’ In the same area there is a giant picture made of Lego bricks based on another Cressida Cowell illustration. Hopefully some of the young visitors will be inspired to seek out the original books. There is also a short film showing Axel Scheffler creating a picture of Zog (from the books by Julia Donaldson) which is on display next to the screen to be looked at closely and enjoyed.
I particularly liked the ‘Dragons Passport’ designed for young visitors to record the activities they complete – these include a dragon egg hunt using a free app and other dragon related things to look for in the Upper Gallery and out and about in Bath. A series of drop-in workshops is running throughout the summer holiday and the exhibition continues until 8th October 2017. See here for further details. Here Be Dragons is an engaging and entertaining exhibition about these enduringly popular mythical creatures, which visitors of all ages are bound to enjoy.
Photos and text courtesy of Chris Routh