Mapping Blackwood’s success

La Trobe University lecturer Sarah Mayor Cox has been rummaging through Freya Blackwood’s drawers. Map drawers that house hundreds of picture book illustrations.

Sarah has just returned to Bendigo from a trip to Freya’s home in Orange, NSW, where she chose the pictures that now hang in the La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre.

Sarah is a lecturer in education and a passionate advocate of Australian picture book illustrators. She was inspired to focus this year’s Text Marks the Spot exhibition on Freya following the illustrator’s remarkable achievements in the 2015 Children’s Book Council of Australia awards.

Freya won three illustration categories for three picture books. “No one’s ever done that before,” Sarah says. “She has also won the UK’s highest award for picture book illustration, the Kate Greenaway Medal, which only three Australians have ever done.”

Locals and visitors to Bendigo can see for themselves the magic of Freya’s work in the View Street Gallery. The works have been framed and face mounted behind glass, highlighting the raw pages fresh from the map drawers.

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New ways to do it

A bit informal, relaxed and very lively… and it’s free.

On Friday August 12, from 5.30pm to 7pm, in the Festival Hub in the Capital’s Banquet Room, you can get into festival mood with Scott Alterator and friends – Samuel Wagan Watson, Bruce Oakman, Cate Kennedy and musician Rowan Blackmore.

This is the now traditional poetry cabaret, which has been a part of both Bendigo Writers Festival and the Write on the Fringe Festival since the start.

This year, we’re teaming up with Write on the Fringe, and showcasing, too, the winners of the Vox Bendigo Fyffe Award.

Come along and check out the VBFA zine, a little book, designed by Jacqui Lynch, which features the two winning poems, by Tru S Dowling and Melinda Kallasmae.

Scott Alterator is keen to see local writing published in new and interesting ways and this zine is the start of that journey.

We hope to see you there…

In Search of the Real Story

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One of the best things about Bendigo Writers Festival is the variety of experiences and expertise our participants bring to sessions and this diversity makes the festival memorable.

But you don’t need to wait until Aug 12-14 to get a sense of the rich assortment of interests which exist among our 2016 presenters. Simply take a look at their responses to our ‘dream interview’ question and you’ll see this year’s crop of presenters will certainly deliver on our promise to make ‘Much ado about…Everything’.

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Singular and powerful

If you saw artist John Wolseley’s works at the National Gallery of Victoria in 2015, you’ll remember how “singular and powerful” this mapping art is.

“Singular and powerful” is, in fact, the way Wolseley describes the writing of fellow artist, Kim Mahood, and these two have much in common.

In Position Doubtful, Mahood describes her fascination with maps, finding in old maps of the Tanami desert in north-western Australia a connection to the way Indigenous people map their land. Continue reading