Category Archives: east melbourne library

MRBW Day 3

 

Melbourne Rare Book Week hosted six events today. Some were at the same times, so I had to make a choice about which ones to attend and sketch at. The decision was made easily, as one, A Walk on the Mean Streets, was going to have more sketching potential than the others.

The day began at the Rare Book Discovery Day at Melbourne Museum. It was an opportunity for people to bring along their books, maps and prints to this Antiques Roadshow-style event for discussion and informal appraisals from a panel of leading antiquarian booksellers. I arrived when they opened the doors and sat behind the appraisers.

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I immediately realised that my ink pen was empty so I sketched in watercolour pencil. Instead of a quick sketch I stayed there for about an hour, drawing the appraisers first and then adding some people who had bought books along. I was pleased when a family arrived with a stack of books . I had a wonderful time watching, listening to the interesting conversations and sketching.

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After rushing home to refill my ink pen I went back into the city for A Walk on the Mean Streets. I knew in advance that the two presenters were dressing in period costume, which is why I wanted to attend this event. We had a perfect winters day – clear blue sky and sunshine.

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This walk was hosted by Dr. Lucy Sussex, an expert on Australian detective fiction, accompanied by Professor Chris Browne. We walked for two hours, stopping at some of the sites of Melbourne featured in the books of Fergus Hume, the author of The Mystery of a Hansom Cab.

 

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The walk finished at East Melbourne Library biscuits and coffee and with an interview with the ghost of Fergus Hume. We also viewed some early editions of the Mystery of Hansom cab and related titles and learned more about the publishing history.

 

Lunar New Year – fast & slow sketching

On Saturday at my local East Melbourne Library there were Chinese New Year celebrations, including Lion Dancing. There were two Lions (each had two people in it)  and a mischievous buddah,  accompanied musicians on the drum, gong and cymbal. A fantastic overload of sights and sounds to delight the small crowd . It finished in firecrackers (outside the library) .

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It was very challenging to try and capture the constant movement of the characters. They darted up and down, back and forward, in a seemingly impromptu fashion. They jumped up onto the loans desk and bookshelves, in amazingly acrobatic moves. I learnt afterwards that they had not been to the library before this date and it was all made up on the spot.

I am not sure if I could have prepared for sketching this. It required very loose hand,  and arm movement. I was trying to juggle multiple coloured pencils and this slowed me down.

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It was a lot easier to draw the musicians – this was within my comfort zone !

After the finale of firecrackers outside the library and the ending of the ceremony, I moved back inside to try the deep fried dumplings and Chinese black tea. The makers of these explained the process as I watched and chatted to the library staff.

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Chinese black tea with Sarah Cowell from Teasense

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Deep fried prawn and pork dumplings with Corona So from Living Cuisine

Totally in my comfort zone here !

New exhibition of my sketchbooks

In August this year I was fortunate to have the opportunity to hold my first exhibition at my local East Melbourne Library. At the time, I also booked the space for my second exhibition for this month of October. Today I set it up with my friend and curator extraordinaire, Louise. This exhibition features 24 of my sketchbooks open at pages displaying a variety of themes. I hope to show people the wide variety of things that can be sketched and open their eyes to the concept of sketchbook journalingL1100103a.
The themes on the opened pages include people, travel, food, drink, Melbourne, tools, everyday things and medical – as you can see, a wide variety. Anything is sketchable! Some are quick sketches and others are studied drawings. I carry my Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook, watercolour pencils and Ink pen with me every where, and draw everyday.

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It was difficult, but fun to choose 24 pages from 55 books with sketches capturing the last 8 years of my life. I had help and advice to choose pages that had strong images in landscape format so that they would be interesting to look at in the glass display cabinets in the library. So many choices !

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My exhibition is on for the month of October. If you are in Melbourne, I hope that you get the opportunity to come and visit.

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My first solo art exhibition

My first solo art exhibition. It is small but it is all mine.L1100034

My local East Melbourne Library provides display cabinets for residents to book for a month at a time for exhibitions. With the encouragement of friends, I booked a space for August. Then, with the incredible guidance and assistance of my good friend Louise, (curator and exhibition designer) we planned and then set up my display.

THE PLANNING

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This took many hours and the time that we spent planning paid off.   I learnt that there is a lot involved in finding a theme, keeping focus and using the space of the  glass cubes that make up the cabinets. I cut 12 squares of 30 x 30 cm paper (the number and size of each shelf) and spread them out over the floor at home . I then decided what should be placed in each shelf. We took it all down to the library last Saturday, making slight alterations on the day .

All along, I had visualised how I wanted my feather and nests sketches to be exhibited, and the final display exceeded all of my expectations.

The theme of the exhibition was based around the drawings I have had printed as Greeting Cards and envelopes (which are available for sale on my Etsy site). They include feathers, nests, library books and ladders and snails.

BOOKS

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There is one display cabinet featuring library books and ladders.

I tried to add as many relevant sketchbooks as possible to the display as well as the finished drawings  on loose sheets of A4 paper as I am really a sketchbook artist.


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FEATHERS, NESTS AND SNAILS

I also wanted to include some of the original objects that the drawings were inspired by.

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I have already received some lovely feedback from the library staff.

I hope that you have enjoyed strolling through my first solo exhibition with me today. It is very big event for me and I very proud of my exhibition.