Charlie Mackesy: We are all a Work in Progress
Selling Exhibition: 2–28 June 2022 • On View in London 2–14 June 2022

Working Illustrations from The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

I n 2019, British artist Charlie Mackesy’s book The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse was named 'Book of the Year' by both Barnes & Noble and Waterstones, and was shortlisted for the British Book Awards’ ‘Non-fiction Lifestyle Book of the Year’ in 2020. Charlie was amongst the winners of the 2020 Nielsen Bestseller Awards, with The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse achieving Platinum status and was awarded Illustrator of the Year at the British Book Awards in 2021.

Sotheby’s is honoured to present We are all a Work in Progress, a selling exhibition of 28 working illustrations from the book The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse as part of our Jubilee Season. These delicately rendered illustrations in ink and watercolour give an insight into the sensitivity and relatability of the little world in the book which, in today’s heightened awareness of the importance of mental health and wellbeing, acts as an important reminder to readers of all ages.

In addition to this first selling exhibition since the book’s publication, various works by the artist will feature throughout Sotheby’s for the duration of our Jubilee Celebrations.

About the Artist

Charlie Mackesy
© Charlie Gray 2021

British artist, illustrator and author Charlie Mackesy began his career as a cartoonist for The Spectator, before becoming a book illustrator for Oxford University Press. His award-winning work has featured in books, private collections, galleries and public spaces around the world. He worked with Richard Curtis on the set of Love Actually to create a set of drawings to be auctioned for Comic Relief, and with Nelson Mandela on a lithograph project, The Unity Series. His internationally bestselling book, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, was published in October 2019. Charlie is currently working on an animated short film adaption of the book. Charlie's words and illustrations have brought comfort to many and have been shared online around the world as well as on t-shirts for Comic Relief, magazine covers, street lamp posts, school classrooms, cafés, women's safe houses, prisons, hospital wards and as NHS hospital computer screensavers. Away from art Charlie co-runs Mama Buci, a honey social enterprise in Zambia.

Exhibition On View in London

Sotheby’s London, 34-35 New Bond Street
2–14 June 2022
Weekdays: 9:00 AM–4:30 PM
Weekends: 12:00–5:00 PM
Closed Sunday 5 June
This exhibition is free and unticketed.


Helen Culver Smith
+44 20 7293 6381

Kira Gurmail-Kaufmann
+44 20 7293 5515

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