Circle by Jeannie Baker @ CMAG

25 November 2016

Jeannie Baker is an award winning children’s artist and author. And if you’re not in the position to be reading to littlies, delighting in that wonderful world of imagination, enjoying sharing stories that cleverly educate as well as encapsulate aspects of science, art and literature, you can enjoy the art work of Jeannie Baker at the Canberra Museum and Gallery. I promise you will be entranced by her delightful and meticulous art.

To coincide with the release of her latest book ‘Circle’ CMAG is exhibiting a collection of the collage works Jeannie Baker created for the book and the delight is in the detail.

The story is about birds, the Bar-tailed Godwits who take the longest unbroken migration of any animal, excluding of course the never ending migration of the wildebeest of the Serengeti who just go on and on and on. The Godwits fly from their breeding grounds in Alaska non-stop to Australia and New Zealand after fattening up for the long flight and scarpering before the winter sets in. They settle in for their southern summer sojourn and in March and April start flapping their wings for the return journey to northern hemisphere but have a bit of a stop- over in the wetlands of the Yellow Sea before getting back to the breeding grounds in August. That southern  journey is 11,000 unbroken kilometres of flying for nine days and nights, and is extraordinary as they follow their instincts ensconced in the DNA that has probably endured over so many changes to this world of ours they could tell us a few things about what we’ve done to our planet.

 And from this migration Jeannie Baker has created a story to delight young and old, that reminds us of the interconnectedness of all creatures great and small and how from this little bird we can learn so much about what we’re doing to their breeding and feeding grounds to encourage our littlies to better understand the importance of protecting our wildlife.

Her collage work on display shows how she creates the pictures for the book. The detail of every aspect a collection of all manner of bits and pieces from tiny feathers her brother saves from his garden to fabric saved from clothing and clay used to create coral. The textures emerge with bark, cracked paint, earth, sand and rusty tin. Fine, detailed and intricate, obviously taking many hours of concentration and patience with the result a picture to photograph for the book.

The exhibition continues at the Canberra Museum and Gallery until 12 February 2017, but pop in and have a look and buy a book for the perfect Christmas gift for the littlies that you’ll enjoy as much as they will.