Good Art is …Child’s Play

Order was restored in Melbourne today after yesterday’s excitement! (see last post and Twitter etc #BorderForce!)

Time for my Saturday recharge at the NGV at the glorious Bunyips and Dragons Exhibition

The short films of illustrators immersed in their studios with banks of books and desks strewn with sketches and paints are delicious and enough to make me want to move in permanently with Ron Brooks or Alison Lester. The interview with Albert Ullin OAM, who donated the collection to the NGV, is also a delight given his youth-like enthusiasm for supporting children’s literature through his shop The Little Bookroom as well as supporting the early careers of fledgling illustrators in Australia.

The collected works of illustrations for books and calendars are such a joy to behold – uplifting, exquisite, delicate, detailed but sometimes also troubling. Bob Graham’s gentle Greetings from Sandy Beach, Leigh Hobbs slightly unhinged cat Old Tom and Shaun Tan’s extraordinary illustrations for John Marsden’s The Rabbits range from mesmerising to disturbing.

So chastened was I by viewing these exceptional works I took time to redraw some of my early efforts for my Bandung to Bali book – still painfully in the making!

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