I have just returned from the fantastic LOOK! and Mirror exhibitions at the Canberra Museum and Gallery. The exhibitions showing the original “art of Australian picture books” are displayed in two separate spaces; one is the collaged illustrations of Jeannie Baker from her Moroccan/Australian themed book Mirror and in the other section LOOK has the work of forty other Australian children’s book illustrators including Bob Graham, Ann James, Shaun Tan, Graeme Base, Leigh Hobbs and Terry Denton. The LOOK exhibition opened at the State Library of Victoria and the Canberra show is the second stop on a tour of regional Australia.
The collaged artworks of Jeannie Baker were created for her children’s picture book titled “Mirror.” The book shows the day-to-day similarities between families in Morocco and Australia. The book has no text and the illustrations are collaged with all manner of materials to produce beautiful original artworks for the pages of the book. The two covers of the book fold out so both sides can be read together – a Moroccan side and an Australian side. While both the Mirror and LOOK exhibitions are displayed side-by-side in Canberra they are in fact travelling on separate tours.