Picture This will feature six popular children’s books that have a strong visual identity on the page and have also been vividly brought to life on stage.
Each section of the free family exhibition will include illustrations and artwork from the books – which range from much-loved modern works to iconic classics. Alongside will be filmed extracts from stage productions, with a variety of props, costumes, designs and posters.
Throughout there will be interactive opportunities for visitors to draw, write, perform, read and play and even devise their own production ideas. At the heart of the exhibition will be a stage, featuring daily readings of the featured books and many other titles, as well as performance, music-making and artist-led workshops.
Floella Benjamin, one of the authors featured in this exhibition, tell us that ‘childhood lasts a lifetime’. As children, the pictures we looked at, the words we read, the stories we were told – all could inspire us, transport us, challenge us and reassure us forever.
The six books / productions featured in Picture This are:
- Room on the Broom, by former Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson and longtime collaborator Axel Scheffler, is a much-loved tale about a witch and her gang of friends. It is presented on stage by Tall Stories, and will be at The Lowry from Wednesday 7 December 2022 to Sunday 8 January 2023.
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, written by Lewis Carroll and illustrated here by Chris Riddell, was first published in 1865 and became an instant and enduring success. It has since been presented on stage at the Royal Opera House.
- Coming to England, by Floella Benjamin, with illustrations by Diane Ewen, is a triumphant true story celebrating the Windrush Generation, recently seen on stage at Birmingham Rep.
- Wild is by Emily Hughes, who grew up in Hawaii, and whose story of a little girl, raised outdoors but forced to live in the city, is bold and passionate. It was recently presented by Unicorn Theatre in association with How It Ended.
- You Choose, by Nick Sharratt and Pippa Goodhart, gives the reader all the ingredients for them to make a new story every time they open the book. It is regularly toured on stage by Nonsense Room Productions.
- The Little Prince, the story of a little adventurer from planet B-612 by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, with illustrations here by Chris Riddell, was written in 1943 and is one of the best-selling and most translated books ever published. Protein Dance bring it to life using a mix of dance, humour, singing and spoken word.
The Lowry art galleries are free to everyone and display the famous LS Lowry Collection, alongside a vibrant programme of special exhibitions. Bringing visual arts and performance together are central to The Lowry’s exhibition and engagement programmes.
Picture This and the accompanying programme is committed to ensuring it features and celebrates a diverse cast of characters, stories, authors, illustrators and performers.
Venue: Lowry Gallery
This exhibition is suitable for all ages, including children aged 2 – 10 and their families.
Filmed exhibits are captioned.
There is wheelchair access throughout, including onto the exhibition stage.
The work is suitable for all children and we welcome children with complex needs – please contact us to arrange a private viewing before the Galleries open, if required.
Chris Riddell, Illustrator of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Little Prince says: “I am delighted to be part of such an exciting family exhibition that celebrates both the power of children’s books and the sheer enjoyment of creativity. Alice in Wonderland and The Little Prince have long been enjoyed both on the page and stage and it is wonderful to see these experiences brought together by the Lowry for everyone to share.”
Diane Ewen, Illustrator of Coming to England says “I’m hugely excited to be asked to contribute to such an amazing exhibition to celebrate Coming to England in a phenomenally respected gallery such as The Lowry. As an artist and illustrator, who has visited and loved art galleries forever, I can’t wait for everyone to see this exhibition.”
Michael Simpson, The Lowry’s Director of Visual Arts says: “It has been fun and exciting to work with so many creative storytellers, illustrators and theatre companies on this exhibition. We are so grateful to them, and to Macmillan Children’s Books, Flying Eye and Puffin Books, for their ideas, support and enthusiasm.”