Blair's cartoon life goes on display

The story of Tony Blair's premiership, as seen by political cartoonists, is soon to go on display at the Cartoon Art Trust Museum.

The exhibition, designed to coincide with Mr Blair's ten years as Labour Party leader will track his pictographic progression from Bambi to a side-kick of George Bush's.

Containing around 90 per cent original images, the exhibition will feature the work of top cartoonists like Steve Bell of the Guardian, Dave Brown of the Independent, Peter Brookes of the Times and other eminent cartoonists from both the UK and overseas.

Chairman of the Cartoon Trust, Oliver Preston, told this morning that the exhibition would explore how cartoonists moved from a depiction of an innocent, young Mr Blair that they hardly knew, to draw more complex images such as the demon eyes and the poodle as his time in office continued.

Aside from the progression of images, the varying styles of different cartoonists will also be showcased as well as an intensive look at certain key periods in the premiership.

The exhibition is the first such political personality exhibition the Trust has put on in a number of years, and will also include talks and roundtable discussions with the contributors.

Professor Colin Seymour-Ure, of the University of Kent, describes the progression as: "The innocent, unsullied, smiley cartoon Blair of the first term thus shaded smoothly into the hardened, opportunist and allegedly cynical, smiley Blair of the second."

Alan Mumford, the curator of the exhibition, said the famous smile "has changed from a smile of enjoyment to a fixed grin, exposing teeth ready to bite - particularly members of his own party, and nasty people in Kosovo and Iraq".

The show will run from October 27th to November 7th at the Mall Galleries, London, and then at two other London locations until December 18th.