Peake practice

This year is the 100th anniversary of the birth of author Mervyn Peake, famous for his Gormenghast fantasy trilogy.

Treasure Island
Treasure Island

Hailed as one of the greatest British writers of the 20th century, Peake was also an illustrator, creating the artworks not just for his own works but also Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Hunting of the Snark, fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm and other works.

Snow White
Snow White

To mark the centenary of his birth, the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne is hosting a retrospective exhibition of Peake’s illustrations.

Fuchsia Groan
Fuchsia Groan

The Lines of Flight show will feature atmospheric illustrations from Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Treasure Island, portaits from the Gormeghast trilogy and other works.

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Julie Milne, curator of the Laing Art Gallery, says the exhibition, ‘Brings together Peake’s work, which depicts comical cartoon-like sketchings to paintings which are grotesque and macabre.’ She describes Peake’s illustration work as ‘somewhat forgotten today’.

Abiatha Swelter
Abiatha Swelter

Lines of Flight: Mervyn Peake, the Illustrated Work, is at Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, from 15 October 2011-8 January 2012.

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  • Mike Bell November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Peake’s style and quality across both artwork and writing, depth in both, inspired me as a teenager: I don’t think he is forgotten, rather kept quiet by admirers to help avoid the work being spoiled by adaptation and the cinema.. Pray Sting never makes the film…

  • Ellie Pitkin November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    My Theatre company, Blackshaw, are adapting Titus Groan for the stage (public reading on 6th October if anyone’s interested – http://www.blackshawonline.com!) and it’s inspiring to see so many events to celebrate his wonderful work.

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