Desert Lake: The story of Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre

Newcastle Live -

Newcastle Region Library launches picture storybook exhibition Desert Lake: The story of Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre, featuring artwork by local award-winning Illustrator Liz Anelli.
The exhibition showcases original artwork, sketches and studies from the Nature Story series book written by Pamela Freeman for Walker Books and follows Anelli’s recent journey around the Central Australian Outback.

Recently awarded the May Gibbs Creative Fellowship, Anelli has illustrated more than 15 books including The Scrapyard Monster (McDonald Books, 1988) and Howzat! (Walker Books, 2014).

Also well known for her busy cityscape and map illustrations, Anelli was awarded a grant from the Australian Society of Authors to travel to Lake Eyre-Kati Thanda to draw inspiration for the project. National Association of Visual Arts (NAVA) and the Australia Council for the Arts have both supported the exhibiton.

“The exhibition brings the Outback into the city,” Anelli said.

“Usually when you read a picture book you turn each page at a time – here you can see all the artworks at once and it’s great how they fill the space with colour.

“Creating the illustrations was a real challenge as I had never been outside of NSW before.

“Being awarded the Australian Society of Authors picture book Initiative allowed me to make a trip to the dried-up lake region, and that made all the difference. Although I also did a lot of online research, that was nothing like spending time travelling around and drawing in that vast Outback landscape. I really got to appreciate the slowly changing tones and textures.”

Displayed in the Lovett Gallery to 14 May, the exhibition details the making of the book including collage techniques using pieces of textured monoprint, magazine scraps and painted sand.

“We are thrilled to showcase Liz’s artwork from Pamela’s latest book,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“Art plays a critical role in stimulating creativity and is an important catalyst for learning, discovery, and achievement in our community”.

The launch event tomorrow afternoon will be hosted by ABC’s Manager of Broadcast Content Quality, Phil Ashley-Brown, and will feature a Q&A segment with Anelli.

During the school holidays, children are invited to take part in a series of workshops with Anelli where she will teach a range of art techniques to create a desert creature to add to the exhibition mural.

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