Last night was the opening of my Angel Time exhibition with the wonderful painter Angus Nivison, at the New England Regional Art Museum in Armidale. It was so exciting to see it up: it looks absolutely wonderful, so gorgeously and imaginatively displayed, immersive and extraordinary, my words and Angus’ striking, haunting artworks flowing in and out of each other beautifully. As well as my poems, song lyrics and prose fragment displayed on the walls next to the paintings they are inspired by, there are several audio readings, accessible via QR codes, of extracts from my novel The Ghost Squadwhich directly inspired others of Angus’ paintings, and also a ‘word cloud’ which is projected onto translucent hangings: looks so spookily effective! There was a big, interested crowd present and lots of great comments–people were really intrigued by it. The exhibition is on till August 28, so lots of opportunities for people to see it! Below are some pics from the exhibition.
This was an absolutely fantastic creative collaboration, the whole way through, and I am so grateful to Caroline Downer and Arts North West for initiating it, and to Rachael Parsons, Belinda Hungerford and the whole NERAM team for showcasing it so magnificently. And of course, the very warmest of thanks to my co-creator, Angus Nivison, who’s not only a most extraordinary artist, but also a lovely, generous human being and a real pleasure to work with!
Today I met with the wonderful locally-based painter Angus Nivison, as well as Arts North West director Caroline Downer, New England Regional Art Museum Director Rachael Parsons and NERAM exhibition director Belinda Hungerford, to plan the final stages for a wonderful collaborative exhibition that Angus and I are creating. Called Angel Time, it will open on July 1 at NERAM and will go till August 28. It is something that grew out of an Arts North West workshop last year called Looking Both Ways, where artists and writers were paired together to create joint works. Angus and I led that workshop and part of it was that he and I would then create works for an exhibition this year. Angus had recently read my book The Ghost Squad and to my delight he loved it so much that he decided to use it as the basis for a series of paintings, based on certain elements of the book and its themes and allusions. Then, based on my seeing these paintings, in my turn I created some new pieces for several of his artworks: poems, prose, song lyrics and more…As well, for several of the paintings directly inspired by incidents or moments in the book, I’ve recorded short readings from The Ghost Squad.
It’s been such an inspiring and exciting process–and today, with both painting and word-based works created, it was all at the stage where we could sit down with the NERAM directors and talk about how it will all be shown in the physical space of the gallery. It’s going to be just amazing, I can’t wait!
It’s been a year since the release of The Ghost Squad, and right now I’m working on an exciting collaborative creative project inspired by the book, with the extraordinary artist Angus Nivison, under the auspices of Arts North West and the New England Regional Art Museum. We had a great meeting about it yesterday and it’s inspired me to put up again the stunning trailer for The Ghost Squad, created by Whiptail Productions. More details on the collaborative project soon!
I’m honoured to be part of the Anzac Stories: Behind the Pages exhibitions which will run throughout Australia in 2017 and 2018, and will showcase Australian and New Zealand contemporary children’s books set in wartime, and the stories behind the creation of those books. The exhibition is the brainchild of the fantastic New Zealand author Maria Gill, who initiated a similar exhibition in New Zealand earlier. Boards featuring individual books and writers will be exhibited in libraries across Australia. My two World War One novels, 1914 (Scholastic, 2014) and My Father’s War (Scholastic 2011) and the stories and research behind them, will be part of the exhibition. There’s also an Anzac Stories blog, with info about each book and a short interview with their writers. Here’s a little extract from mine:
Doing the research on the ground, in northern France especially, made it all become so real and so emotionally affecting. Both books blend my two main cultural influences: French and Australian, and that also felt like a very positive thing, especially as the ties between France and Australia forged during that terrible time are still very strong, particularly in the Somme region of northern France, where they have a saying, N’oublions jamais l’Australie : ‘Let us never forget Australia’