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Quentin Blake and Charlie Mackesy create new artworks in support of the fight against Covid-19

The artists have designed pieces to raise money for charity and show their solidarity with those working on the frontline

Two of the country’s most beloved artists, Sir Quentin Blake and Charlie Mackesy, have released brand new illustrations to express their solidarity with key workers around the UK, raise vital funds for local charities and provide some much-needed cheer for those self-isolating at home during this difficult time.

Sir Quentin Blake has teamed up with the House of Illustration to release a new series of e-cards for people to download and send for free to loved ones during the lockdown.

One of the rainbow illustrations by Sir Quentin Blake, featuring a woman with rainbow hair and a rainbow hill
The celebrated children’s illustrator has created 10 new designs featuring painted rainbows, a nod to the thousands of rainbows that have been popping up in windows all over the country, drawn by children in support of the NHS.

With his trademark wit and humour, Blake has used the rainbows in a variety of entertaining scenarios, including as a weight for a strongman, a kennel for a dog, a particularly colourful moustache and a present that can be wrapped up in brown paper and sent through the post. He plans to auction the original works in aid of the health service.

Two of the rainbow illustrations by Sir Quentin Blake, including a dog using a rainbow as a kennel and a man using one as a weight
“It seems like a time when a few straightforward jokes might not come amiss; so as I know that people have been putting rainbows into their windows to express solidarity, I took the liberty of borrowing them,” he said in a statement to the Evening Standard.

“You will see that I have supposed that they are real and portable, and I hope they are optimistic too.”

Two of the rainbow illustrations by Sir Quentin Blake, including a rainbow on a trolley and someone doing gymnastics on a rainbow
Meanwhile, Charlie Mackesy has joined forces with Comic Relief to launch a limited edition t-shirt featuring two of his most popular characters, the Boy and the Mole, with the simple message, ‘Love Wins’. The unisex white t-shirt costs £15 and 100% of the proceeds from sales will go to charities that are supporting vulnerable people through the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Comic Relief t-shirts by Charlie Mackesy, worn by Dame Joan Collins and Claudia Winkleman
Dame Joan Collins and Claudia Winkleman wear Charlie Mackesy’s Comic Relief t-shirt

The money raised will go to help vital charities across the country, from food banks delivering basic essentials to families in crisis to those working with the elderly, women at risk of domestic abuse and those living without stable housing. The proceeds will also go towards charities working on the frontline response to the crisis around the world, including working to get soap and face masks to refugees in overcrowded camps and helping children living on the streets get to a place of safety.

Several celebrities have already shared images of themselves proudly wearing the t-shirts, including Carey Mulligan and her husband Marcus Mumford, Claudia Winkleman and Dame Joan Collins.

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse is available for £14.99 from waterstones.com;

The limited edition Charlie Mackesy Love Wins t-shirt for Comic Relief is available to buy now at comicrelief.com/love-wins;

Sir Quentin Blake’s e-cards are available to download at houseofillustration.org.uk

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