Telling stories through pictures

The Wicked Pirate
SCOTT HAMMOND/FAIRFAX NZ

The Wicked Pirate

A rollicking art exhibition for the whole family is on at the Millennium Public Art Gallery in Blenheim

"Painted Stories", an exhibition of illustrations from Joy Cowley books published by Gecko Press, will run until the Marlborough Book Festival starts on July 24. Cowley is a featured writer at the festival. 

The exhibition is centred around works from The Fierce Little Woman and the Wicked Pirate by illustrator Sarah Davis, but Trevor Pye's designs from Stories of the Wild West Gang, illustrated by Trevor Pye, and Keely O'Shannessey's work from Dunger and The Bakehouse are included as well.

The Fierce Little Woman and the Wicked Pirate

The Fierce Little Woman and the Wicked Pirate

Illustrator Gavin Bishop of Painted Stories, the Te Tai Tamariki: New Zealand Children's Literature Preservation Trust, said the organisation was created in 2006 with the aim of collecting original artwork from children's books. So far ten exhibitions of illustrators' work had been held nationally. 

Sydney-based Davis did "superb work", Bishop thought. 

In 2009 she won the Children's Book Council of Australia Crichton Award for the best new illustrator. 

Zoe Adams, 9, and the little woman see eye to eye.
SCOTT HAMMOND/FAIRFAX NZ

Zoe Adams, 9, and the little woman see eye to eye.

Bishop said the exhibition also included planning and design information about picture books, so people could see how they came together. In general picture books were all 32 pages long, so the design was "very tight'. 

Bishop had illustrated Cowley's books for over 20 years, and had a lot of admiration for her work. 

"She's terrific, she's a machine. She can produce good quality work more quickly than anyone I know, and she's good at writing for a specific age group." 

"The little woman plays them a lullaby..."
SCOTT HAMMOND/FAIRFAX NZ

"The little woman plays them a lullaby..."

Only the best illustrations should be presented to children, Bishop thought.  

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"It has to be good. You should be presenting something to children that they haven't experienced before.

A good artist can create "something magical and unforgettable". 

George Adams, 6, does his own illustrating.
SCOTT HAMMOND/FAIRFAX NZ

George Adams, 6, does his own illustrating.

*At 10.30am on Wednesday July 15 a "Wicked Pirates Day" will be held at the Millennium Public Art Gallery. Come dressed as a pirate and take part in lots of wicked pirate activities. Adult supervision required. 

*At 10.30am on Saturday July 25 "Joy with Art", a book reading and signing session with Joy Cowley, will be held at the Millennium Public Art Gallery. Joy will be accompanied by picture book writer and illustrator, Gavin Bishop. All welcome, adult supervision required

"The fierce little woman lived in a house at the end of the jetty..."
SCOTT HAMMOND/FAIRFAX NZ

"The fierce little woman lived in a house at the end of the jetty..."

"Sometimes, the little woman walked up and down the jetty playing her bagpipes..."
SCOTT HAMMOND/FAIRFAX NZ

"Sometimes, the little woman walked up and down the jetty playing her bagpipes..."

 - The Marlborough Express

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