Quentin Blake set to be a ‘big draw’ for King’s Cross art festival

Artists of all shapes, sizes and standards have been given a call to arms to take part in the opening ceremony for the biggest drawing festival on the planet.

On Sunday, at noon, Quentin Blake, the illustrator who brought to life beloved Roald Dahl characters such as Matilda and the witches, will arrive in King’s Cross by barge.

After hopping onto the dry land, he will cut a ribbon spanning the famous Battlebridge Basin and in doing so launch the Big Draw’s Big Splash - a day of riotous creativity and a curtain raiser to the nationwide Big Draw festival, the biggest of its kind in the world.

Held in the Kings Place building, in York Way, and the surrounding canal side, the event encourages visitors to unlock their creativity and have a go at the various art mediums on offer.

Inquisitive visitors can try their hand at animation and fashion art, try drawing for comics, build and race paper boats on the canal or even jump aboard a floating studio.

Mr Blake, a patron of the campaign for drawing, who have organised the day, said: “It’s all about getting people to draw and letting them know they are allowed to draw. Amateur singers sing all the time and we wanted to let people know amateur artists can have a go as well. It turns out that once they get started, you don’t have to encourage them much.

“There should be a good crowd - we had 14,000 at a big draw at the Natural history museum - and I am really looking forward to having the event at Kings Place. I am really interested in the King’s Cross area and all the redevelopment going on there.”

Most Read

Mr Blake will be sketching some life sized drawings on a giant roll of paper, before asking others to join in.

He said: “If we are having a big draw I thought we had best have a big drawing. The whole thing should be a bit of an adventure, coming on the boat and cutting the ribbon - I just hope I don’t fall in the canal.

Islington artist Marion Deuchars, who lives in Upper Street, will be hosting a couple of workshops at the event.

She said: “It should be quite frenetic and exciting, especially for kids. Hopefully everyone will lose their inhibitions and express themselves. It will also show young people that you can make a living as an artist and what it takes.”