Between the lines

16th September 2005 at 01:00
Quentin Blake, the first children's laureate, is warming up for his grand project for a national gallery of illustration by curating a Hayward Gallery touring exhibition on historical and contemporary images of travel.

It captures memorable journeys from Tiepolo's series of etchings "The Flight into Egypt" in 1753 to Blake's own "Sailing Boat in the Sky" from the picture book he created with French schoolchildren in 2003. The 80-page colour catalogue (Cornerhouse Publications pound;12.99, www.cornerhouse.

org) is a wonderful resource for exploring both the history of transport and the history of technological developments in illustration "in which the road of depiction broadened into the possibility of the multiplied image, one that was available for a whole new class of owners", as Blake writes.

From Tiepolo and the Holy family's donkey it's a short hop to George Cruikshank, one of many illustrators who raised a laugh at the expense of the first cyclists, poor things. There are also tributes to the railway: enthusiastic from Edward Ardizzone, sinister from Edward Gorey and immediately evocative from David Gentleman from the footplate of a mountain train in India.

In All Directions is at Worcester City Museum and Art Gallery until October 15 (tel: 01905 25371), followed by Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery (October 22-December 4, Tel: 01752 304774), before moving on to Aberystwyth and Carlisle.

Klaus Flugge, publisher of Andersen Press, probably has the world's finest collection of decorated envelopes, acquired from his picture book artists when they send in their invoices. To compete you'd have to buy the entire catalogue of the Pushing the Envelope auction to raise funds for the National Literacy Trust; supporters are being asked to decorate an envelope for auction on eBay.

The first wave includes a contribution from Tony Hart (above), the legendary illustrator from the Vision On television series, Lord of the Rings star Ian McKellen's Gandalf, Jacqueline Wilson's Tracy Beaker and the Suitcase Kid, and Andrew Motion's vision of Noah's Ark with an elephant trying to hitch a lift. From October 3 to 13 you can bid for them at www.pushingtheenvelope.info. Bidding begins on the Monday morning, so organise your classroom cover now.

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