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Bloomin’ Brilliant: The Life and Work of Raymond Briggs

Sat 27 April - Sun 27 October

A new exhibition featuring never-seen-before items and artworks from one of the UK´s most beloved author illustrators in the part of East Sussex that he made his home.

Bloomin’ Brilliant: The Life and Work of Raymond Briggs is a highly personal show that will bring together 30 items from the late author´s estate with over 100 original artworks from his 60-year career.

The exhibition joins up with the acclaimed, currently touring show from Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration (Raymond Briggs: A Retrospective).

Bloomin’ Brilliant includes work from Briggs’s (1934-2022) pioneering titles, including The Snowman (1978), Father Christmas (1973), Fungus the Bogeyman (1977) and When the Wind Blows (1982), plus the autobiographical graphic novel Ethel and Ernest (1998), delving into the origin and creation of these classic images and stories. Also on show are his drawings, hand-lettered typography and page designs from his earliest commissions to his 2004 book The Puddleman.

For the first time following the author´s death in 2022, this exhibition will also offer a deeply personal view of the items and objects that surrounded the author in his Sussex home. This will include Briggs’ own writing and drawing desk which he used for over 40 years and where he first originated some of his most famous works.

Never-seen-before artworks will also be featured, including artwork for Father Christmas Goes on Holiday (1975), as well as several portraits and other illustrations that for decades never left his home.

These will all join hundreds of artworks that show why Raymond Briggs was – and still is – viewed as one of the most exceptional draughtsman and storytellers that this country has produced, with innovative journeys of both the magical and seemingly mundane, from monsters, flying snowmen, and miniscule humans, to heartfelt relationships, real-life war, and a hard-working Father Christmas.


Bloomin’ Brilliant: The Life and Work of Raymond Briggs, a touring exhibition from Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration in collaboration with Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft.

The exhibition features original illustrations courtesy of Raymond Briggs’s Archive and Penguin Random House.

Bloomin’ Brilliant:  The Life and Work of Raymond Briggs has been supported by Cate Olsen and Nash Robbins, The Chalk Cliff Trust, Brian and Patricia Tyrer, The Valerie Morant Trust and the Mrs A Lacy Tate Trust.

1: Illustrations from Father Christmas Goes on Holiday. © Raymond Briggs 1977, published by Puffin Books
2: VE Day, Ethel and Ernest © Raymond Briggs, 1998
3: Raymond Briggs’ desk, Leigh Simpson. © Raymond Briggs Estate

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