Liedekijn, the group exhibition, opened on Thursday with great fanfare and corsetry. Gavin the Thomson has taken some great photos and written a lively summary of the night on his Sketchbook Scribbles art blog.
You have till 8 April to see the exhibition at The Front Gallery, and the art-books are available from Impact Comics Canberra and All Star Comics Melbourne until sold out. In the photo below you can see an installation shot, with Katie Winchester’s work on the left (with part of the liedekijn tale above) and my collaborative work (made with Wes Hobday) on the right.
In addition to the exhibition opening, there was a follow-on liedekijnish “comicky ziney dinner night” which featured wonderful talks by Katie Winchester, Tim McEwen and Bruce Mutard, and the industrious Gavin has also written a summary of the talks and the reluctant star of the night, dramatic exploding beer.
What I really took away from the talks was the link between commercial work or jobs for the cash dollars and personal projects. Katie spoke about the importance of having a passion or interest in client-directed work to make the process more enjoyable and productive, and it was interesting to see Tim’s searchlight intelligence approach in linking concepts (everything’s connected, like the commercial-personal dialogue), and Bruce’s painstaking approach to research really showed his passion for war narratives in comic format.
This connection between commercial and personal work conjures a vague memory of reading (a long time ago!) that artist René Magritte had a job creating rose designs for wallpaper, and how this bled into his own work. I need to verify this in his catalogue raisonné as I am unsure if I have somehow created this fact by melding fact and fiction in my brain (so this paragraph might change!).
Katie talked about having your heart in a work, and look, I have found an apt reflection on Magritte’s work and hopefulness of the soul – “My heart fills the world like Magritte’s rose.” (Maso, 2000, p. 109). Maybe it’s appropriate that Magritte’s rose in works such as The Tomb of the Wrestlers (Le Tombeau des lutteurs) (1960) apparently responds to (but does not illustrate) Leon Cladel’s themes of unrequited love and stabbing one’s own heart with a dagger (Stotzfus, 2011, p. 174). Perhaps the stabbing occurs not only in instances of broken-hearted wrestlers (as in Cladel’s book), but when commercial artistic works don’t make the heart sing (or stabbing in the liedekijn tale, but this is less self-inflicted).
Oh well. As Maso says, “Every rose pulses.” (Maso, 1995, p. 26). Remember to visit the liedekijn exhibition and make your pulsing heart sing.
Artists and artworks:
Magritte, René. The Tomb of the Wrestlers (Le Tombeau des lutteurs) (1960), Oil on canvas. Accessed via Bridgeman art: http://www.bridgemanart.com/asset/171571/Magritte-Rene-1898-1967/The-Tomb-of-the-Wrestlers-1960-oil-on-canvas/
McEwen, Tim. Greener Pastures. http://greenerpasturescomic.blogspot.com.au/
Murtard, Bruce. Bruce Mutard: graphic novelist & illustrator. http://brucemutard.com.au/
Winchester, Katie. Katie Winchester: Animation-Illustration. http://kwanimation.net/ (it’s also her artwork on the left in the photo)
Liedekijn book retailers:
Impact Comics Canberra http://impactcomics.com.au/web/index.php or phone (02) 6248 7335
All Star Comics Melbourne http://allstarcomics.com.au/ or phone (03) 9642 0071
Maso, Carole. “An excerpt from “The Room lit by Roses””. Bomb, No. 73 (Fall, 2000), 108-111. Accessed via JSTOR, 30 Mar. 2013.
Maso, Carole. “Carole Maso: An Essay”. The American Poetry Review 24.2 (Mar/Apr 1995), 26. Accessed via JSTOR, 30 Mar. 2013.
Stoltzfus, Ben. “Magritte, Cladel, and the tomb of the wrestlers: roses, daggers, and love in interarts discourse.” symploke 19.1-2 (2011): 173-190. Accessed via Literature Resource Center, 30 Mar. 2013.
Thomson, Gavin. “Liedekijn – Exhibition opening night!”. (29 Mar. 2013). Retrieved from http://sketchbookscribbles.com/liedekijn-exhibition-opening-night/ on 30 Mar. 2013.
Thomson, Gavin. “Recap of the comicky ziney dinner night”. (30 Mar. 2013). Retrieved from http://sketchbookscribbles.com/recap-of-the-comicky-ziney-dinner-night/ on 30 Mar. 2013.