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No.1 Smithery
Temporary Exhibitions

Temporary Exhibition Programme

Included with your annual ticket to The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Included as part of your annual ticket to The Historic Dockyard Chatham, you will have access to our exciting and ever-changing temporary exhibitions held within No.1 Smithery.  There is always something for the whole family as part of the exhibition programme and please check back regularly to see what is coming up.

Michael Foreman - Painting with Rainbows

29th September - 26th November 2017

We are delighted to announce that from the 29th September until 3rd December 2017, an exhibition dedicated to the work of one of Britain’s best-loved illustrators of children’s books, Michael Foreman, will be on display within No.1 Smithery at The Historic Dockyard Chatham.

Michael Foreman is one of Britain’s best-known and internationally acclaimed creators of books for children. A multi award winning author, he has been illustrating for children for over 50 years. With original artwork on show alongside playful props and costumes, Seven Stories’ exhibition, (supported by Arts Council England, Newcastle Council Fund, Anderson Press, Templar Publishing and Pavilion Books), explores Michael’s storytelling, and imagines a world without conflict, that cares for our environment and celebrates the importance of friendship.

Travel the world through Michael’s drawings from his sketchbook, which went with him everywhere. Stomp around like a Dinosaur as if you were in Dinosaurs and all that rubbish, or maybe discover an unlikely friend like Ali Pasha.

Families are invited to add to the ‘Tree of Hope’ with messages for the future, explore stories of war and peace through War Boy, War Game, The General and Ali Pasha. A multi-sensory environment inspired by Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish and One World encourages building and play. Michael’s creative process is revealed in his artist’s studio and by his own personal artefacts.

With storytelling, activities and even a chance for one of our ARP Wardens to lead you into our Air Raid Shelters for an immersive experience of life during WWII, there is plenty to explore and maybe even discover the artist within yourself too!

We are delighted to be working in partnership with Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books’ to bring you this exciting exhibition.

More about Michael Foreman

One of the most talented and popular creators of children's books today

Michael Foreman has produced a vast range of distinctive picture books, suitable across primary ages. His titles have broad appeal and span themes including ecology, politics and traditional stories from around the world.

As a child

Michael Foreman was born in the fishing village of Pakefield in Suffolk. His mother ran the village shop, and Michael used to deliver the newspapers. The illustrated magazines that were sold in the shop often inspired him. At the age of fifteen, Michael began to study art and had his first children’s book published when he was still a student.

As an adult

Michael is married and has three sons. He spends most of his time in London, but regularly visits St Ives, Cornwall. He finds the sea very inspirational. “I love the sea because its colour can show different times of the day. I like to put in one or two night scenes, which again give you dark blue – and, of course, there are days with blue skies. Sometimes, amid all this blue, I have to go out of the way to put in differently coloured pictures – just to make that surprise when you turn the page.”

As an artist

Michael has worked on magazines, book jackets, animated films, TV adverts, and even for the police, sketching criminals described by witnesses. As well as illustrating many of his own books, Michael has illustrated over three hundred books for authors such as Shakespeare, J. M. Barrie, the Brothers Grimm, Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde. Michael has travelled widely – to Africa, Japan, the Arctic Circle, China and Malaysia, the Himalayas, Siberia and New Zealand – to research his books. “I do a lot of research when I’m travelling – I find it thrilling to discover the particular ‘art’ of different landscapes and work them into a book. But I find I have to travel by myself, otherwise I’m constantly getting involved in other people’s impressions of a place… I try to be invisible when I’m travelling, so I tend to listen in on conversations rather than participate in them – I just want to look and draw.”

Book your tickets now to see our exciting temporary exhibition programme