Friday 3 September 2010

Craft Cubed featured event: Rhyll Plant 'Rhyme & Reason'

Printmaker Rhyll Plant's Rhyme and Reason, currently on at the Castlemaine Phee Broadway Theatre foyer, presents a selection of prints featuring imagery gleaned from childhood rhymes and verses. Rhyll also has a very enviable day job as a 'professional scientific illustrator' at the Museum of Victoria - how wonderful!

I have long borrowed images from the natural world in my capacity as a professional scientific illustrator with the Museum of Victoria. My creative art is similarly enriched. The Craft Cubed theme of childhood for 2010 has inspired me to create an exhibition of original prints presented as framed artworks on paper. The series celebrates a visual interpretation of encounters with rhyme and has been inspired by both my children and the reaction of friends in their seventies whose eyes light up with the recollection of childhood chants when pleasure could be found in telling the time by the simple act of blowing a dandelion.

Rhyme triggers my childhood memories – from the bizarre and scary black humour of the German Heinrich Hoffman’s 1845 Struwwelpeter to the appealing exploits of Bunyip Bluegum in Norman Lindsay’s 1918 Australian classic The Magic Pudding.

The verse of my youth has a rhythm that, to my delight, not only endures in my own mind but now enriches the imagination of my own children.

‘If wishes were horses, beggars would ride
If turnips were watches, I would wear one by my side
And if ‘ifs’ and ‘ands’ were pots and pans
There’d be no work for tinkers.’
Trad. C 1605

Animals feature richly in verse, be their role as a wished-for means of escape for beggars or, in the minds of old wives as harbingers of good or evil tidings. Complimenting the history of rhyme is the history of book illustration and printmaking mediums, such as those underlying my own creative craft of wood engraving and nature printing are richly represented.

Rhyme and Reason is on until 8 September at the Castlemaine Phee Broadway Theatre Foyer. Opening hours are Monday to Wednesday 10am-6pm, Thursday 10am-7pm, Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 9.30am-12.30pm.

No comments: