Today we went to Hazelhurst Art Gallery in Gymea to see an exhibition of artworks by leading Australian children’s picture book illustrators.
Curator Mike Shuttleworth says Look! gives children a chance to see artwork from their favourite stories up close and explore the process of visual storytelling: “Here are works from Australia’s finest children’s book illustrators. The exquisite images tell many stories, some beautiful, some hilarious, some difficult. They help children to understand their world. They give imaginations fuel to dream.”
My kids loved wandering around the exhibition, talking about the pictures, asking questions. There was one picture in which the artist had scratched the paint to make the foxes fur look, well, furry. Next to the painting, the artists’ tools were displayed in a box. My kids found this especially fascinating as it gave them a special glimpse into how illustrations can be created. When we got home, Callum stuck a piece of aluminium foil onto paper, then scratched it with a pencil. He said “See, this is what the lady did with the fox!”
In the middle of the space was a big pile of cushions, a cosy armchair and bookshelves displaying all the books from the exhibition. After looking at all the pictures, we sat and read a couple of our favourites, including ‘Love from Grandma’.
As it was the first day of the exhibition, there were a range of special activities for the children, such as short films, book making, craft, drawing lessons, and FACE PAINTING!! My kids’ love for face painting knows no bounds. Callum actually spent most of the time asking “When can we do the fun stuff? I really want to get my face painted!” So, we made our way to Studio 1, where we found an extremely long queue leading to a surprisingly calm looking face painter. After asking the kids if they reeeeeally wanted to have their faces painted (I know, stupid question), we lined up, and lined up, and lined up…for 90 minutes! This was a lady who clearly took her job as a painter of faces seriously. (see results below)
In the end, I took my tired little puppy, kitten and vampire (!?) home for lunch and a rest. We didn’t have long as my kitten had a McDonald’s party to go to.
So, if you’re in the area, and are looking for a free, fun experience for your kids these school holidays, I would highly recommend the LOOK! exhibition.
Image at top: Elizabeth Honey, illustration from I’m Still Awake, Still, music by Sue Johnson, Allen & Unwin, 2008, gouache on paper