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Down Under Illustrators showcase in Europe

Down Under Illustrators showcase in Europe

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New Zealand’s well-known illustrators will feature an international combined exhibition near Frankfurt from 18th January. Hosted by the Darmstadt Illustrators Guild the selected artists on display include multi-award winners such as Gavin Bishop, Dylan Horrocks, Donovan Bixley, David Elliot, Robyn Belton and Chris Slane. New Zealand Embassy representative James Anderson will open the event along with Germany’s Guild Chairman Tim Weifenbach.

“We’ve dubbed this year’s popular art event “Down under Uncovered”, states Volkmar Hoppe, Exhibition Manager, “New Zealand featured as the Guest of Honor at the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair. That event provided a brief glimpse of the vibrant New Zealand illustrators’ scene. Our exhibition provides a more focused insight into Kiwi illustrators and allows visitors to view their varied works alongside their German counterparts.”

“That Book Fair inspired our Guild to collaborate with kiwi illustrators to showcase their engaging artworks in this combined exhibition,” said Mr. Hoppe. “New Zealand’s contribution has a fresh, distinctive edge and will ensure the whole show is a success.”

The Darmstadt illustrators have also created a ‘limited special edition’ publication focusing on various New Zealand themes. This and a wide selection of books, postcards and other artworks will be for sale during the exhibition. (The attached humorous example from their publication . . . i.e. “The Eagle-Kiwi collaboration” by Dominik Hüfner.)

Local artist Terry Fitzgibbon coordinated the various New Zealand artists’ works, profiles and provided extra design and background information. “While visiting Germany in October last year, I met with the Guild and gave them the opportunity to select the artists for nine of their large display panels and their rolling slide-show,” he said. “With the assistance of Creative New Zealand funding, examples of published works including award-winning books and catalogues featuring New Zealand’s emerging talent will be exhibited.”

The organisers of this annual event believe that many talented illustrators from both countries have had insufficient opportunities to market their skills. This exhibition will showcase superb examples of their collective talents to interested audiences including a significant segment of Germany’s media and publishing outlets.

For decades illustrators have been an integral component to the success of many internationally acknowledged picture books, children's stories, comics, graphic novels and image-based entertainments. “While we all value and rely on our authors' written words,” said Mr. Hoppe, “many illustrators believe they have often been the unheralded partner of creative literary works.”

In a positive and trend-changing way, he believes “Events such as the planned Darmstadt exhibition will expand the horizons for illustrators who rely on contractual work to both survive on - and express - their creative talents.”

During the two day exhibition in the Central Station guests can meet and talk with local artists, as well as with Henry Slane - a young talented New Zealand illustrator - who will also be attending the event.

The exhibition opens on Saturday, 18th of January 2014 at Darmstadt-Central Station.



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