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Portrait of the Not The National Portrait Gallery exhibition

October 3, 2018 in Events, General

Photo © Glenn Marshall

Clive Goddard writes:

I’m not sure how you measure these things in any meaningful way but I’m going to confidently declare that the PCO’s #NotTheNPG caricature exhibition at Charing Cross library was a complete triumph. For a start, the location was excellent, being in an area of central London visited by art loving tourists and now, thanks to the collective funds and effort of the  membership, kitted out as a proper gallery space with hanging facilities and frames which we can use again.

Poster featuring caricatures by Wilbur Dawbarn, Jonesy, Andy Davey and Simon Ellinas.

We could, I suppose, measure the show’s success in terms of the members’ response to the call for submissions. 47 different people had their work shown which added up to around 130 pieces on the walls (and tables and floor), whittled down in a painfully difficult process from over 300 submissions.


Photo © Jeremy Banx


How else to measure it? Well, people turned up. Not in their thousands, of course because it was a cartoon exhibition not a recording of the X Factor, but in sufficient numbers to make it worth doing and to stop the invigilators from sloping off to the pub. We were plugged in both Private Eye and The Evening Standard which certainly helped raise the show’s profile. And those that visited the show really liked it. The comments book was full of very complimentary things and there were plenty of encouraging words exhanged, too. It was also great to hear a lot of audible laughter coming from the visitors which made a pleasant change in the normally po-faced environment of an art gallery. Tate Modern really frowns upon people chuckling at their exhibits as I once discovered to my cost at a Turner Prize show.

Preview piece in The Evening Standard.

Better still, we sold stuff. Prints and originals on the walls quickly attracted those lovely little red dots which translated into total sales of nearly £3,000. This included a couple of hundred which the invigilators earned by selling more of their own work out of a grubby suitcase beneath the table.

Jeremy Banx, Christopher Burke and Steve Way at the Private View. Photo © Mika Schick.

The events were a great success too. The private view was well attended by many cartoonists, art editors and collectors most of whom behaved impeccably and didn’t get too drunk. Unfortunately Damian Hirst, Jeremy Corbyn, Boris Johnson and the other caricature victims on display, though cordially invited, were unable to attend due to some pathetic reason or other. I don’t know – they didn’t RSVP. 

Helen Pointer workshop. Photo © The Surreal McCoy

Helen Pointer’s caricaturing workshop went down a storm, attracting a full table of happy punters eager to learn and to try their hand/s at the dark art.

The panel discussion. 

The panel discussion featuring PCO heavyweights* Martin Rowson, Andy Davey, Rebecca Hendin, John Roberts and Chris Burke was a sell out**. Different perspectives on working practices and processes were shared and there was a dialogue between people working in slightly differing, yet overlapping, adjacent fields, ie: portraiture through a lens that included everything from event caricature to political cartooning to illustration gave a welcome broad perspective. And, again, most people behaved very well throughout.

The clash of the hairdos. Photo © Glenn Marshall

So now that it’s all over and Uncle Glenn has de-framed everyone’s work and is trying to find the SAEs they came with, we start thinking about the next one. Today Charing Cross, tomorrow the world!

Major thanks to everyone concerned.

Clive Goddard

PCO Chair-human

* In terms of talent not body mass index.
** In terms of numbers not principles.

NOT the National Portrait Gallery

August 21, 2018 in Events, General, News

Poster cartoon by kind permission of © Richard Jolley/ Private Eye magazine.

PCO Chair human Clive Goddard writes:

“No, its ‘Not the National Portrait Gallery’ but it is right on its doorstep in a brand new gallery space at Charing Cross Library. It is an exhibition full of irreverent, funny and, in some cases, downright disrespectful caricatures and cartoons, all poking fun at the singularly human business of having a likeness made.

The show features work by just under 50 members of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation (PCO) including a host of familiar cartoonists from the pages of The Guardian, The Independent, Private Eye and the rest of the British press, whose signed originals and prints will be on sale”

‘The exhibition is on from 10th-23rd September, details of location and opening times here. During the run we have two associated events:

Martin Rowson with hands on a naked Boris. Photo © Zoom Rockman

Panel Talk

Monday 17th September 6-8pm

Discussion hosted by The Guardian cartoonist and author Martin Rowson with Chris Burke (The Times), Andy Davey (The Sun, Evening Standard, The Telegraph), Rebecca Hendin (BBC, Buzzfeed and more) and John Roberts (live event caricaturist) who all work across different fields as cartoonists, caricaturists and illustrators.

Angela Merkel by © Chris Burke

Samuel Beckett by © Andy Davey

Theresa May by © Rebecca Hendin

Amy Winehouse by © John Roberts

The talk is free but we recommend you book one of the limited places on the Westminster Libraries website.

 

Helen Pointer with presenter and comedian Sue Perkins. Photo © Helen Pointer

Caricature Workshop

Sunday 16th September 2-4pm

An ‘Introduction to Caricature’ with Helen Pointer. Helen is a highly experienced and much in-demand caricaturist.

This is suitable for all ages.

Again the event is free but you should book one of the limited spaces via the Westminster Libraries website.

 

with apologies to the real National Portrait GalleryWhy not combine a visit to both!

The Cartoon Museum announces move at ’50 Glorious Shows!’ launch.

April 3, 2018 in Events, News

The Cartoon Museum announced its exciting plans for a relocation to a new space at the launch of the ’50 Glorious Shows!’ exhibition last Wednesday.

The museum Curator Anita O’Brien reveals the plans.                                                   Photo © The Cartoon Museum.

The move has been necessitated by a severe rent rise at the current location.

The new museum will be housed at 55 Wells Street, which is north of Oxford Street in Fitzrovia, close to the BBC and Westminster University.

Artist’s impression of the new building.

It’s a great basement area, which at 4,200 sq ft is the same size as the current museum but it will have a higher ceiling. As part of the new build – by developers by Great Portland Estates – the Museum has secured a 25 year lease at a peppercorn rent (ie. no rent for 25 years) It is scheduled to open early in 2019.

Detailed plans of the new space are on display in the gallery.

The Museum is open to hear ideas and suggestions for the new location.

The varied ‘50 Glorious Shows!’ exhibition showcases what the Cartoon Museum has achieved since being at its current location, 50 being the number of exhibitions it has staged. It features original cartoons and comics from over 170 cartoon creators.

PCO member Kipper Williams with PCO new Chair-human Clive Goddard.           Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Since the museum moved to Little Russell Street twelve years ago its collection has risen from 1,500 cartoons to now over 4,000, these acquisitions mostly coming as donations.

The exhibition runs until 2nd September 2018.

More details on the Cartoon Museum website.

Personal Bests: All together now

August 7, 2012 in General, News

Personal Bests Synchronised swimming at London 2012 Olympics © Ian Baker @ procartoonists.org

© Ian Baker @ procartoonists.org

The activities of the bodies beautiful at the London Olympics get ever more extreme as the Games approach their climax. Enjoy other artistic activity with a look back through Personal Bests.

Capital cartooning

January 15, 2011 in News

Bloghorn notes some new cartoon-related events coming soon to London town.

There’s an exhibition of the cartoons Ronald Searle drew for his wife, Les Très Riches Heures de Mrs. Mole, while she was undergoing chemotherapy, accompanied by a talk on Searle’s life by Valerie Grove on Tuesday, 15 February 2011 at The Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, London, WC1N 1AZ. Tickets are £20, books and signed prints will be on sale, with proceeds going to Macmillan Cancer Support and The Foundling Museum. (Thanks to the Ronald Searle Tribute blog for the tip)

There’s free comic workshops on offer for 16-20 year olds at londonprintstudio, 425 Harrow Road, London W10 4RE on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from the 18th January. There’s a £5 booking fee, but this will be reimbursed on arrival. Visit www.londonprintstudio.org.uk for more information or call 020 8969 3247 to book. (thanks to downthetubes.net for the tip)

And finally, the Comix Reader, is having a launch party upstairs at the Crown, 51 New Oxford Street, London WC1A 1BL on the 2nd February. The publication, described as “Underground Alternative Independent Satirical Carnivalesque Comix Entertainment” is already on sale for £1 at a number of stockists.

We  are sure there are many other events across the country and we would welcome news of them as readers see them. You can contact us here or using our social media outlets.

Comic festivals return

November 5, 2009 in General

comica_logoThe three-week London-centred comic festival Comica opens today, featuring the usual mix of talks, workshops and exhibitions including the Cartoon Museum‘s 30 Years of Viz celebration (previously on Bloghorn) and a collection of original artwork from American underground comic legend Robert Crumb (previously). Also happening is the small press and self-publisher’s fair, Comiket, this coming Sunday at the ICA. There’s a full program of everything that’s going on here (or in PDF form here). Comica continues until the 26 November at various locations across the city.

thoughtbubble

Coming later in the month is the Thought Bubble festival in Leeds, happening between Thursday 19 and Sunday 22 November, and features more workshops, talks and exhibitions and incorporates the Thought Bubble one-day comic convention on the Saturday at Saviles Hall, opposite the Royal Armories.

The North-South Divide: Comic festivals this weekend

November 13, 2008 in General


If you’re into comics then you’ll be spoiled for choice this weekend. For northerners there’s Thoughtbubble, the Leeds Sequential Art Festival, running from 13th to the 16th November, which includes a one-day comic convention at Saviles Hall and Alea Casino, both on Royal Armories Square, Leeds.

And, for those down south there’s Comica, the London International Comics Festival, featuring exhibitions along with a symposium on Archetypes v Stereotypes In Comics & Graphic Novels. The symposium is at the Victoria and Albert Museum on 14th November, and there are loads of other exhibitions and events at the Institute of Contemporary Arts from the 14th to the 26th November.

UPDATED: 17th Nov 2008
A report on Thoughtbubble from Shug

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent

The mayor of London's cartoonist

May 6, 2008 in General


PCOer Martin Rowson writes about his time as Cartoonist Laureate to the former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, and wonders whether he’ll survive the regime change.

I suppose that Ken Livingstone’s defeat by Boris Johnson means that I’m no longer the Official Cartoonist Laureate to the Mayor of London, although I’m not quite sure. Somewhere in the bowels of City Hall, the Great Glass Testicle by the Thames, there is a contract, drawn up between the Mayor’s office and me.

It was, I now freely admit, a joke. It was also a joke to remind Ken of his promise every time we met, and it remained a joke, after he was elected mayor in 2000, to browbeat one of his policy wonks at a party about his boss’s failure to keep his promises. However, jokes are dangerous things, and a few days after the encounter with the wonk I got a call from Ken himself, saying we were going ahead, and that I was duly appointed as the Cartoonist Laureate for London.

The terms of the contract were pretty straightforward. I would provide drawings of the Mayor or of events involving him, the GLA and the administration of London, in return for one pint of London Pride ale per year. This, I stipulated, had to be bought by the Mayor with his own money over the bar of a public house during licensing hours. And that was more or less it.

At the time of my appointment in 2001, I got a great deal of press attention, mostly because neither the mayor nor the GLA had actually got round to doing anything else by that stage. I got invited to attend the opening of the new City Hall by the Queen, and produced what I think was my finest cartoon in the job, of “Red, White and Blue Ken” rolling his tongue out as a red carpet for the Queen to process down, with the Duke of Edinburgh behind her.

But by 2007, payment was, strictly, five years in arrears.

This didn’t actually stop me voting for him and I still churned out stuff for GLA’s in-house newspaper – The Londoner – up until February 2008. One of Boris Johnson’s few palpable election promises was to scrap the paper, but even that wouldn’t make me vote for him.

I’ll ‘fess up and say that I admire Ken Livingstone probably more than any other politician I can think of. His bravery in thwarting New Labour was a beautiful and inspiring thing, and both the Congestion Charge and the pedestrianisation of the North of Trafalgar Square were enormously brave too, in the latter case because nobody had been able to make a decision to do this for sixty years. But I hope that that admiration didn’t constrain me from taking the piss when so inclined, even if, as things turned out, the beer that might have provided the piss dried up rather sooner than I’d hoped.

And as every workman is worthy of his hire, if Boris comes up with the goods, I’m more than happy to drink his beer and piss on him too. I await the call.

Bloghorn says click R for Rowson.

It’s British cartoon talent