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Visual Arts

Exhibition: Drawing Europe Together

From 14 June 10:00 to 14 July 18:00


Drawing Europe Together is an exhibition of vibrant and thought-provoking illustrations by esteemed children’s book artists from across Europe, organised in collaboration with Axel Scheffler and the European Commission.

About the exhibition

The seed of an idea for this exhibition was planted the day after the EU referendum of 23rd June 2016. Award-winning children’s book illustrator Axel Scheffler, who was devastated by the result of the vote, travelled to Germany to take part in a Brexit discussion on the radio. Afterwards, he had dinner with an equally concerned group of people, including Markus Weber, children’s book publisher at Moritz Verlag. Believing that a united Europe was the greatest guarantee of peace and prosperity, they wondered what they could do. Some time later, Weber came up with the idea to ask his illustrators to create a ‘drawing for Europe’. Whether they wanted to draw something about the story of Europe, the European Union or anything else on the subject, was left entirely up to them.

The pictures were first shown during the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2017 and afterwards at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in Berlin. In November 2017, The Guardian published a feature about the project, and this gave Scheffler’s editor at Scholastic Children’s Books the idea that the exhibition should come to the UK.

The Institut français in London – in collaboration with Pulse of Europe, a pan-European citizens’ movement for a united Europe – took up the baton and hosted the exhibition at its premises in April/May 2018. The Drawing (for) Europe exhibition was highly acclaimed by the press and public alike. Some British-based children’s book illustrators were asked to contribute; not surprisingly, many commented visually on Brexit.

About the book

Scheffler’s long-term publisher, Pan Macmillan, then decided to create a book – Drawing Europe Together, Forty-five Illustrators, One Europe – and invited even more illustrators to contribute. In addition, Macmillan asked all the artists to write a few words to explain the thoughts behind their drawings. The forty-five illustrations were exhibited together for the first time at the launch of the book at Waterstones Piccadilly, London, in November 2018. In partnership with Axel Scheffler, Pan Macmillan and the European Commission, we are now able to tour these illustrations around the UK, bringing these often touching and thought-provoking artworks to a wider audience.

Event Details

Exhibition: Drawing Europe Together
Friday, 14 June 2019 - Sunday, 14 July 2019
Open Monday - Sunday, 10.00am to 6.00pm
Information in English | FREE
No advanced booking required

Institut français d’Ecosse
Salle Marie de Guise (lower ground floor) and Salles Boulez (first floor)
West Parliament Square
Edinburgh EH1 1RF

Access Details
The Institut français d’Ecosse and the Salle Marie de Guise and Salles Boulez are fully accessible with step-free access available at its main entrances on West Parliament Square and George IV Bridge.

Image: Drawing Europe Together book cover, Axel Scheffler

Please note that the opinions expressed within the illustrations and accompanying texts are the views of the artists and do not necessarily reflect the views of the gallery or organisation.

Institut Français Écosse 2019