Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Images of Childhood

Just checking in with some info on a couple of exhibitions I've been to recently, that I think may interest one or two of you.

The first was at a fairly local school gallery, Mascalls in Paddock Wood, Kent. I hadn't been to this little gallery before but happily somehow got sent an invitation to the private view of 'School Prints, Art for the 1940s Classroom'. The Mister and I spent a lovely hour or so, drinking Prosecco and secretly wishing we could take some of the works away with us.

'Some of the most important contemporary artists were commissioned to produce original, hand drawn colour lithographs with accessible imagery'. It was a bid to expose school children to their first experience of contemporary visual art. And was the brain child of Brenda Rawnsley, who by the third series managed to persuade hugely important artists such as Picasso and Matisse to participate.

Vogue magazine loved the school room concept so much, the prints were touted as the clever way to add colour to interiors.

The second exhibition contains a lot of heart warming nostalgic imagery from my own school days.

image BBC

'Ladybird by Design', has just opened at the de la warr pavilion East Sussex. A celebration of the significance and affection that we feel for these early childhood books.

Looking at these gorgeous illustrations brought back floods of memories for me.

Not that my own experiences were reflected in these depictions of a middle class Utopia. I love them nonetheless. A gentler, simple and more uncomplicated way of life, well that's how I remember it anyway.

The exhibition displays over 200 original illustrations that cover a selection of Ladybird books from the 50s to the 70s.

There is no admission charge to either of these delightful exhibitions and they are both on for a wee while yet, pop along if you're in the vicinity.


  1. These images are totally nostalgic of a time when the sun seemed to shine all day long, the birds sing, and children could merrily skip safely through the meadows - of course I am viewing it all whilst wearing rose tinted spectacles. Look at the size of those ice cream cones for 4 pence.

  2. Fantastic! Love the first story, interesting pictures too. You have made me want to visit a gallery, it's been a while.... xx

  3. I love these too!
    Paddock Wood - goodness knows what the place itself is like but the name conjures up day trips to London by train from East Kent for me. Happy, happy days!

  4. I went to the Ladybird books exhibition my self yesterday. It really is so amazing. Was very difficult to not spend a fortune in the shop though!

  5. Oh boy do those pictures take my back to 1950!

  6. Well! I ain't no painter...!
    Though! just before Christmas l did paint
    my kitchen and bathroom...Upgrade from
    rosie' to bubblegum pink! Dare 'I' say it....
    It's a work of art! :).
    The brush strokes are firm and sincere.....
    It casts a shiny shadow as the light catches
    the reflecting wall...Ah! Yes! Picasso, would
    have been proud!

    I do have some paintings in the hall..Though
    they were my Mums. Only like landscapes, or
    paintings l can see, what they are, at a glance!
    So! Picasso..NO! Still life...NO! Oh! l do like
    portraits...! "Nuff Said".

    And, l still have 339 Ladybird books, though, they
    do belong to my daughter. I do know there are some
    there of value...Still pull out a few for a read, about my

    Love the old ice~cream van...And, yes! 4d for a cornet
    In the old money of course! :>).

  7. The do look great places to visit, the second one seems very nostalgic x

  8. Being an avid reader from a very young age I devoured the Ladybird books and loved the illustrations. I must get to the de la Warr pavilion as the de la warr family are part of my family tree.

  9. I love the idealised pictures in the Ladybird books -just my era. Of course life wasn't as perfect as it appears but it seems to be that way in my memory.

  10. Pity I am so far away, would love to see the Ladybird by Design exhibition. Just looking at those last two prints made me feel warm and fuzzy!

  11. I love the pictures from the Ladybird books! They are somehow so cosy and comforting. Would love to visit that exhibition!