Look! A New Exhibition on Illustrated Books

Freya Blackwood, illustration from Amy and Louis, text by Libby Gleeson, Scholastic Press, 2006, watercolour on paper, courtesy of the artist

Freya Blackwood, illustration from Amy and Louis, text by Libby Gleeson, Scholastic Press, 2006, watercolour on paper, courtesy of the artist

Look! The art of Australian picture books opens today at the State Library of Victoria, celebrating the modern picture book.

According to exhibition curator Mike Shuttleworth it’s a showcase of the rare skill of combining illustration and narrative. “The dog eared books that line your bookshelves (or your child’s bedroom floor) are the work of real artists and gifted storytellers. Book illustration is a craft that calls on artistic and narrative skills,” Shuttleworth says.

The exhibition features 120 pictures all hung 35cm lower than standard exhibition height specifically for browsing littlies. But it’s anything but your standard exhibition. “The range of media alone on display in Look! will surprise visitors to the exhibition. A series of three minute films is also being screened in the gallery.”

There are activities in the gallery, plus an art and craft area, Play Pod, in Experimedia. The books included in the exhibition are available to read in the gallery (and to buy at Readings’ new State Library store).

Ron Brooks, illustration from *Fox*

Ron Brooks, illustration from Fox

Tomorrow features a huge day of activities featuring authors such as Terry Denton, Anna Walker and a launch by Playschool’s Jay Laga’aia. The exhibition features more than 40 artists including the works of Alison Lester, Ann James, Terry Denton, Graeme Base, Shaun Tan and Bronwyn Bancroft.

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