Over the summer, the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings hosted a Drawing Festival featuring illustrator Sir Quentin Blake.

Your County chatted to the local resident about his work. His unique style is unmistakable, liked by children possibly, he considers, because his illustrations: “Are like something is happening. There is some sequence of time implied in them; an arm may be as much the description of a gesture as a depiction of anatomy. It’s a sort of little theatre.”

Quentin Blake in his studio

Quentin Blake in his studio

Quentin Blake in recent years

In recent years, Blake has enjoyed a parallel career as an exhibition curator and his latest project, the Drawing Festival, is in collaboration with the Jerwood. It came about after he had lent his support to the Storytelling Festival run by the Hastings Old Town Residents Association, becoming its patron and designing a logo before giving a talk at the gallery.

“The exhibition is quite a simple idea but I won’t explain it to you here, because what I hope is that you will want to go to the gallery to find out about it.

“I hope it won’t seem disrespectful to East Sussex if I say that, though I am very conscious of its beauties, my emotional attachment is to Romney Marsh, and I have lived at one end or other, first in Hythe, and for many years now in Hastings.

“I think of ‘Hastings’ not ‘Sussex’. Hastings is after all something like a small country by itself. I can quite imagine it one day, in some kind of Passport to Pimlico situation, setting up on its own.”