Welcome to the blog of the Tasmanian branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia!

Saturday 4 November 2017

Imagine if ...

Join Belle Alderman, Director of the National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature as she highlights a two-month exhibition and event celebrating Australian illustrators of children’s literature. A unique bringing together of outstanding art works from two prestigious collections.

We lived and breathed our motto for this year: Imagine if …. We celebrated our partnership with The CBCA with an exhibition featuring some of the stunning 150 artworks from the Children’s Book Week Artwork Collection. We envisioned these as complementary to the NCACL’s large collection of artworks. How to choose from such riches? What themes might provide connections and insights?

We chose three themes: Enter, Journey and Imagine to inspire imaginations and so explore the art of Australia’s talented picture book creators including Kerry Argent, Graeme Base, Freya Blackwood, Ron Brooks, Neil Curtis, Kylie Dunstan, Vienne Goodman, Peter Gouldthorpe, Bob Graham, Brian Harrison-Lever, Elizabeth Honey, Patricia Mullins, Narelle Oliver, Matt Ottley, Gregory Rogers, Anne Spudvilas, Shaun Tan, Jane Tanner & Steven Woolman. We framed the artworks and then explored the creative process by exhibiting dummies, storyboards and preliminary material as well.

The ever-inspiring Bob Graham played an essential role in Imagine if… by creating an original artwork for Imagine if … . Most importantly, he allowed us to raffle this artwork. We cheered as our nation-wide raffle raised sufficient funds to purchase 20 museum quality reusable frames for future exhibitions.

Imagine if … inspired us! Here are the highlights. The Imagine if … Exhibition featured 40 framed original artworks from 19 illustrators including 24 artworks from the National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature (NCACL) and 16 from The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Children’s Book Week artwork collection. Imagine if … ran for two months from 10 July – 30 August. We opened for 152 hours over 38 days. We also featured professional development programs attended by 50 adults and exhibition activity programs for six schools and a home school group attended by 501 young people aged three and 18 years. Altogether 874 people attended Imagine if …  We conducted a formal evaluation of programs which received very positive comments & valuable feedback for future events.

Margaret Hamilton & Max Brown at
the opening, with the 'book corner'
also in use.
At our opening event Margot Hillel OAM, Chair of The CBCA Board, gave a stimulating address as did Bob Graham, who in his inimitable way, said it all:

Nour, the Cultural Heritage
Student Project Leader
with one of the panels she
designed and painted.
Bob Graham
‘I would like to use that same imagination and come down from the clouds to the north of my window to think that some day and hopefully not too much into the future that the National Centre for Children’s Literature might have an enhanced space of its own, a building and facilities that will accommodate its wonderful and nationally important collection where it can give access to all people: to the work, the stories past, the stories here and now and the stories to come that will nourish the imagination of children of all ages way into the future!’

‘A thoroughly delicious insight into national treasures … may a permanent museum of such be a reality soon!! Professor Erica Hateley, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway

‘Imagine if I had missed this divine and beautifully presented journey into the world of children’s illustrators. Thank you for showcasing the immense talent of these amazing individuals.’ Professor Peter Bodycott, Faculty of Education, Science, Technology & Maths, University of Canberra

Teacher’s observation of children at Imagine if … on what engaged children most — ‘unpacking of the art in the books eg watercolour and tissue paper and noticing the features of that material and how the illustrators use it to create.’

 ‘This was an absolutely amazing session. To think that our most influential children’s authors and illustrators in Australia have their works in one place is brilliant. Teacher, Professional Development Course’

Belle Alderman
Director, National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature

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