An exhibition worth seeing

The gallery at Woodend hosts a range of temporary exhibitions and the current AOI exhibition is just one of them.

The AOI Exhibition features a variety of award-winning pieces of art from national and international illustrators.

Walking round the gallery, the talent and effort that these illustrators put into their work was outstanding.

With more contemporary illustrations from the likes of Paolo Fiore through to the more traditional by Benjamin Parker are all on show here.

A particular favourite was William Grill’s Shackleton’s Journey which gave a lasting impression and took me back to the first time watching the Christmas favourite The Snowman.

The pencil drawn images bring to life Ernest Shackleton’s expedition across the Antarctic.

The sparse and emptiness of his work create a cold and unnerving feeling, something which Shackleton would have felt during his exhibition.

Any Harry Potter fans will be in awe at the skilfully drawn original artwork of the children’s version of the infamous franchise.

The four of seven illustrations, which were featured on book covers for the Harry Potter series, were drawn by Andrew Davidson via wood engraving on handmade paper.

Davidson shows his distinct vision for his art using the antiquated method. Each wood engraving was hand crafted and made on seven-inch English boxwood onto Japanese paper.

These images bring to life the iconic scenes that children, and adults alike, have grown up with.

The exhibition features award-winning work from eight competition categories: Advertising, Books, Children’s Books, Design, Editorial & Social Comment, Public Realm, Research and Knowledge Communication, and Self-initiated.

Some of these include the Harry Potter franchise and 20,000 Leagues Under The Seas by Jules Verne.

The exhibition is full of unique and varied styles of illustration and even a novice art-goer, like myself, can enjoy the talent and skills of each image.

The varied illustrations range from digital, collage and collagraph printmaking.

One that really stood out was Marcus Reed’s Baboon, Giraffe and Jellyfish pieces of art. His style can be interpreted as digital meets ancient typography.

Reed digitally draws each animal to correspond with their respective letter of the alphabet.

This selection is part of Reed’s Animal Alphabet that is definitely worth a Google.

Lesley Barnes’, 1984, based on the iconic novel by George Orwell, shows the concern and message that Orwell was trying to achieve through his infamous book.

It reminds me of the constructivism era through the use of geometric shapes and colours. The added phrases from Orwell’s novel were also included in her digital illustration such as ‘War is Peace’ and ‘Big Brother is Watching You’.

All these phrases are still relevant to today’s society, making Barnes’ work just as iconic and full of impact as its inspiration.

The exhibition also featured a folder telling the history of Woodend and the Sitwells, with a folder of images showing how the building has changed over the years.

Launched in 1976, the Association of Illustrators Awards provides the leading showcase for international contemporary illustration.

The AOI Exhibition will run until June 13 every weekday and Saturdays.


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