Entries in children (21)

Monday
Oct082018

Rice Flour

Belated October greetings: hello! This month’s calendar picture features a little girl with her feline companion. Reis-mehl translates from the German to ‘rice flour’, so perhaps she is enjoying a rice pudding? Who can say, but it must be good since she has rosy cheeks. I like her Mary-Janes too.

Here in Melbourne spring-proper has finally burst into bloom, which, since the spring equinox was on 23 September, is not surprising, but it is exciting! Today is forecast to be a particularly glorious 26°C, and lunch al fresco has certainly given me rosy cheeks.

Happy October!

Monday
Aug272018

Alice’s Adventures on Film

Tatiana's adventures inside a sandwich boardOne of my favourite childhood books was Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. So I was very much looking forward to seeing the Wonderland exhibition at the Australian Centre of the Moving Image (ACMI), which explores the many adventures of Carroll’s famous story on film.

The disorienting mirrored Hallway of DoorsLooking through the two-way mirror into the Hallway of DoorsBeginning with the Hallway of Doors (enter by the smallest door, no matter how old you are), is a series of fantastical rooms, with names such as ‘The Pool of Tears’, ‘Looking Glass House’ and ‘A Mad Tea Party’. On show is charming footage from the late nineteenth century to the multitude of iterations produced in the century since, as well as a plethora of other material such as Charles Dodgson’s original concept drawings, magic lantern projections, vintage posters, animation cels, puppets, props and costumes.

This was always my favourite page in the book when I was very little, so I was thrilled to see Charles Dodgson's original drawing, c1862–64The exhibition is immersive from the get go. On entrance, each attendee is given an ‘enchanted Lost Map of Wonderland’ that unlocks additional surprises with the aid of digital scanners in different rooms of the exhibition – if you could get past the kids hovering over the scanners.

Looking Glass House; the exhibition's curation is thoughtful and thorough, and the design is clever and entertaining for young and old Queen's costumes in Looking Glass HouseThere are also several video installations, and my favourite was at the end, a montage of footage from film, television and advertising showcasing how the story of Alice has entered and utterly saturated popular culture to the present day. I could not help picturing how astonished and gratified Dodgson would be if he could see how far in time and space his story has reached.

If you are in Melbourne, the exhibition is running at ACMI every day of the week until 7 October, and is a must-see.

ClocksInside the video installation of A Mad Hatter's Tea PartyInside the video installation of A Mad Hatter's Tea Party

Friday
Aug102018

Killer Diller

When I was a young teen I went through a short period of enjoying reading the adventures of The Phantom. Those comics were probably my last foray into graphic novels, but apart from the adventuring itself, the vintage forties illustrations were particularly appealing.

Click on the images for larger versionsOn the weekend I picked up a reproduction comic of The Phantom Versus “the Spy Ring” in an op shop for $1, and had fun reading it late yesterday evening. While this story came to a satisfactory conclusion, I had forgotten that these were serial! Damn. Now I’ll always wonder if the Phantom ever ran the spy chief Baron to ground.

I was glad however that his fiancé Diana featured prominently in this story, for I enjoyed her 1940s fashions, especially this beach pyjamas ensemble complete with headscarf and high heels that she wore on the dastardly Baron Danton’s yacht.

I have always hankered for a pair of beach pyjamas, but feel stymied not only by their rarity and expense, but the lamentable fact that any vintage jumpsuit I have tried on has proven to be too short in the body for me. You can see it a bit better in this detailed scan below.

In 40s parlance, aren’t they just killer diller*?

* That would be amazing.

Thursday
Aug092018

A Match Made in Wonderland

While I am not a big fan of Salvador Dalí’s work, I must admit that pairing him with Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (a childhood favourite of mine) was a stroke of brilliance. An editor at Random House commissioned the artist to illustrate an exclusive edition of the book in the 1960s, with all copies signed by the artist.

The book celebrated its 150th anniversary two years ago, and this edition was was published for the public by Princeton University Press. Currently in Melbourne, the Australian Centre of the Moving Image is presenting a world premiere exhibition celebrating the tale as it has appeared on film, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this book might be amongst the merchandise on sale.

Here is the phantasmagorical result of Dalí’s reimaginings of the famous tale. Read more here.

Monday
Aug062018

A Delightful Little Diva

Oh, this illustration makes me chuckle – it’s delightful and funny. I once new a white cat just like this one, called Diva, and that naughty child is certainly being a bit of a diva!

This is the picture on the August page of my calendar, and it is a pleasant one to look at. The linework is masterful, as well as the trick of filling the negative spaces with a lovely palette of colour and pattern, and allowing the white of the page to fill the positive. It’s a very effective technique. Unfortunately, the calendar does not include illustration credits, but this looks 1920s or 30s to me.

Happy August, dear readers!