Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lynne Chapman Exhibition

Right, in my recent 'pants-ness', I've missed out on blogging some fairly important events. Upon hearing this statement, let us pretend that you and I are both unaware of my tendency to walk with close proximity to the path of interest... and yet to wander off at the first bog of banality. Let us, for once, suppose that I am the sort of blogger that actually stays on target, and reports all manner of excitement. Here is what I would tell you...

Actually, first I have to tell you, incidentally (and just to once again prove the above statement to be true!) I often like to look up synonyms for words, and check these out;

'banal, insipid, vapid, flat, jejune, inane mean devoid of qualities that make for spirit and character. insipid implies a lack of sufficient taste or savor to please or interest . vapid suggests a lack of liveliness, force, or spirit . flat applies to things that have lost their sparkle or zest . jejune suggests a lack of rewarding or satisfying substance; a jejune and gassy speech. banal stresses the complete absence of freshness, novelty, or immediacy . inane implies a lack of any significant or convincing quality '

I love 'a jejune and gassy speech'! Being a Cass of very little brain I have, of course, chosen to hideously misunderstand the 'gassy' part. *snickers*

Anyway, back to the important stuff. One such important event I have yet to remark upon, is Lynne Chapman's Exhibition, Giddy Goats and Dippy Dinosaurs.

Whilst I've met Lynne a number of times now, and consider myself reasonably well-up on the fab-ness of her books, this was the first time I'd seen her work 'in the flesh'. It always makes such a difference to see the originals and get an idea of how big someone's working. Also, even with such improvements to the printing process, the colours always look a little more alive in drawings. I think it gave me a better appreciation of how much detail she works in too... and her patience too- must be a bleedin' nightmare in pastel!

Another thing I'm always impressed by, are those people who create the whole thing on one sheet of paper... I know this is the traditional way of things, but it's something I've never had the guts to do. I've always prefered to colour digitally to order to counter my dreadful ability to 'cock up!' And more recently, I even do the foreground and background drawings on different sheets of paper. It struck me with her work that there wasn't all that much margin for error, and that level of commitment has got to be marvelled at. Not to mention that seeing the originals in their full glory, has so much more impact too.

The show itself was well laid out. The pictures were tiered in height, so kids had a row at their eye level, as well as the adults. This was a simple, but brilliant idea to make sure all audiences were properly catered for. I actually find it quite hard to really look at work in a gallery setting, so would have prefered the show to span two rooms (although, I understand that the regular exhibition had to continue in the other rooms). I think spacing it out would have given it a little more room to breathe, and made it easier for my mind to relax and process everything I was seeing. It was quite a busy exhibition, and every piece deserved just as much attention.

Also in the room, were activity stations for the very young, all based on Lynne's books; Again, a master stroke, and something that's routinely forgotten in other 'family' exhibitions.

It was brilliant to see the lady herself once again too, understandably somewhat in a whirl from a days' worth of storytelling and workshops. We all agreed Giddy was probably our favourite work. According to Lynne, almost everyone had said the same; Something she believed was possibly due to the use of more dramatic perspective in the work, making it stand out from the rest. (I also reckon Giddy is probably hands-down my favourite Chapman character though too!) I wondered if all the fantastic perspective shots in her current book were due in any way to the feedback she'd been given from the show?

It was also lovely to meet fellow artist, Phil Alderson and his beautiful partner too, with possibly his most gorgeous work to date; his baby daughter, Martha- who quite frankly, puts other babies to shame in the cute stakes! I dunno what they've bred this one from, but I'm thinking sugar and spice and all things nice... And those that know me, KNOW I'm not a baby person!

All in all, it was a brilliant afternoon out, and more importantly, it's been a great success for Lynne- And children's book illustration in general, to get this degree of recognition. Very exciting!

I hope she doesn't mind that I've stolen her piccy, as being somewhat of an eejit I forgot to photograph proceedings!

The show is still on until the 7th of November, at the Central Art Gallery, Ashton under Lyne. Go! Run! NOW!!!


jamjar said...

just found your blog and noticed the exhibtion of Lynne Chapmans work at Ahston under Lyne, I live nearby so will be paying it a visit, and will be back again to visit your blog too.

cassia said...

great stuff, Jamjar, thank you! Excellent to support these things, but even more excellent to see her amazing work in the flesh.

I hope you enjoy/enjoyed yourself! And if you know anyone else interested, please pass on the details!

cass :0)

Anonymous said...

I'm just surfing the net and stumbled upon your site. I like your work and found the visit interesting. The first ambition I remember was to be an artist on Walt Disney's staff. Didn't realize that, but remained a sort of frustrated wannabe. I do, however, have a friend who's a remarkable artist. A realist. He once painted a picture of a rabbit on a bald man's head.

It was so realistic everyone thought it was a hare!