Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Year that Was

L-R: Myself and Nadia Wheatley in 1996 with our King Charlemagne teddy bears.
Photo credit: Ken Searle. Collection State Library of Victoria

With a brand new year nearly upon us, it's hard to resist looking back at the one that has just passed, which, putting it mildly, was not without its troubles.

Here at Moth Woman Press, however, we have little to complain of. In February we were first time participants in the fabulous 2016 Sticky Institute Festival of the Photocopier Zine Fair (and look forward being part of it again in 2017).

The past year saw the launch of several new zines, including A New Leaf (see below), The Story of the Moth Masks and The Enchanted Hair Ornaments. The National Library of Australia, ACT, acquired a number of our zines, together with the one-of-a-kind artist book, Tall Poppies (2013). The State Library of Victoria also purchased a goodly number of zines.

Back and front covers of the MWP mini-zine A New leaf (2016)

2016 marked the twentieth anniversary of the year I illustrated the children's picture book, The Greatest Treasure of Charlemagne the King by Nadia Wheatley, published the following year by Scholastic Australia. The book received a Children's Book Council Notable Book Award and my illustrations were also nominated for a CBC award.

The Greatest Treasure of Charlemagne the King was launched at Westmead Children's Hospital in Sydney, where Nadia and I were presented with teddy bears dressed as King Charlemagne. (Charlemagne's teddy bear appears in several of my illustrations and is based on my childhood bear, Boodie). Nadia's partner, Ken Searle, took the photo reproduced above.

Earlier this year I donated my working drawings, illustrations and other material relating to the book to the State Library of Victoria through the Cultural Gifts Program.

Looking forward now, four new MWP zines are in the pipeline, all destined to be launched at the 2017 Festival of the Photocopier Zine Fair at Melbourne Town Hall on February 12. In addition, Leaves of Absence, an artist book due for publication in early 2017, has already been selected for an international artist's book exhibition in Western Australia.

The last page of that very book seems a fitting way to end the year, especially one as chequered as 2016 has been. The following image is the Colophon page in its original state, before I added the text: a new leaf for a fresh start in 2017.

Wishing you all the very best for the year ahead from Moth Woman Press.