INKling Exhibition

Ralph Steadman: INKling

We are thrilled to present Ralph Steadman: INKling at the Chatham Historic Dockyard. This never before seen exhibition will give both the dedicated Steadman fan, as well as the uninitiated, the chance to see 4 very distinct sides to his work and career. The exhibition opens on 20th September and runs until 17th November 2024.

Visitors to this brand new exhibition will also be able to experience Ralph's own studio with a replica planned as part of the installation within the exhibit.


Wool and Water

Children's Book Illustrations

Over 7 decades, Steadman has collaborated with writers and poets on scores of children’s books as well as writing and illustrating his own. The exhibition gives the viewer the opportunity to view a selection of these and witness first hand the changing and developing style of the artist over the course of a lifetime of work. The pieces are charming and whimsical and demonstrate Steadman’s energetic and joyous approach to his work and his love of the ridiculous and childlike sense of wonder and flights of the imagination.


Orangutan from Critical Critters by Ralph Steadman and Ceri Levy


The final selection for the exhibition focuses on his collaboration and friendship with Hunter S Thompson, his Gonzo compadre. Several original portraits of the Gonzo Journalist are on display including a silk screen print of arguably his most famous portrait, Vintage Dr Gonzo from the Hunter’s cult classic novel, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Also featured is a homage to Picasso, Steadman’s creative hero, masterpiece, Guenica. Inspired by the tragic artwork, Gonzo Guernica is a silk screen tryptic printed by Kentucky based master-printer, Joe Petro III. We are also proud to present 2 Picasso etchings which are part of collections which inspired Steadman to create his own version of the 347 Suite in his 547 Suite. He was determined to outdo his hero. Picasso created the 347 Suite in 5 months, while it took Steadman a mere 3 months to create his 547 Suite.

Ralph Steadman has illustrated some of the greatest British novels of all time including Treasure Island, Alice in Wonderland and Animal Farm . A selection of these incredible and award-winning works will be on display which showcase his mastery of the line and his ability to say in an image what words alone could never capture.


For over a decade, Steadman has been collaborating with filmmaker and conservationist, Ceri Levy. The Gonzovation collection, which now numbers over 300 original  artworks, began in 2011 when Levy approached Steadman, a childhood hero, to produce one artwork of an extinct bird, for a planned exhibition, Ghost of Gone Birds, to highlight the loss of so many species of our feathered friends. Steadman found that once he had started drawing the lost birds, he could not stop and eventually created over 100 which would become the first book in the Gonzovation Trilogy. Nextinction, about critically endangered birds and then Critical Critters about endangered animals followed. What is presented in the exhibition is a fraction of the full collection and is full of colour and vitality.

Gonzo Guilt