Tell Me A Dragon: the Work of Jackie Morris
10 March 2014 - 25 June 2014
Two magnificent paintings of dragons featured in a calendar of Terry Pratchett’s best-selling Discworld novels take centre-stage in a new exhibition at Torquay Museum. The exhibition, entitled Tell Me a Dragon, features original stunning watercolour paintings by award-winning children’s author and illustrator, Jackie Morris.
The Discworld calendar dragons painted by Jackie gave her the idea for her own Tell Me a Dragon book, in which she dispels the fearsome reputation of these magical creatures. This is the first time that Jackie’s enchanting dragon paintings have been exhibited together.
The exhibition of paintings is supplemented by dragon-decorated objects from Torquay Museum’s own collections, ranging from magnificent Samurai swords to Torquay’s first ever gas lamp in the shape of a dragon (dated to 1834), and beautiful ceramics. The exhibition also tells the story of the myth and imagery of the dragon, from its origins in Asia to its adoption by the British monarchy.
An internationally published author and illustrator with over twenty children’s books to her name, Jackie trained at Bath Academy of Art and quickly established herself as an illustrator for national newspapers and magazines. Jackie has also illustrated books for former poet laureate Ted Hughes. She has won a string of awards, including the Welsh Book Council’s Best English Book of the Year.
“The idea for Tell Me a Dragon came while I was working on Terry Pratchett’s Disc World Calendar,” explains Jackie Morris. “In Pratchett’s Guards, Guards novel, there is a place where dragons sleep and wait to be summoned. They are created by the imagination of those who summon them.”
“So, when I was working in schools I began to ask children, ‘If you had a dragon, what would it look like?’ Some answers were very simple, but some lit the children's imagination until the air echoed with the sound of dragon wings!”
“One day someone asked me, if I had a dragon, what would it be like? I realized that almost every day it would be different. Some days I would like a big dragon to fight battles for me, sometimes a small dragon to curl around my ear and tell me stories. Each day a different dragon, but each one mine - and so I wrote Tell Me a Dragon.”
Signed copies of Tell Me a Dragon, and a dozen of Jackie’s other magical children’s titles, are available from Torquay Museum’s shop. Many of the stunning original watercolours featured in the exhibition are also for sale, as well as signed limited edition prints of a number of the paintings.
Click on the thumbnails below to see some of the work on display.