'Rockhopping' cover design, Image courtesy of Trace Balla. Published by Allen & Unwin 2016 & Cover illustration, The 13-Storey Treehouse, written by Andy Griffiths, illustrated by Terry Denton, published by Pan Macmillan, 2011.

Media Release :: 26 May 2017

Opening of Children's Book Illustration Bonanza

Rockhopping, presents original artworks featured in the graphic novella of the same name by Australian author and illustrator Trace Balla. The works have not been exhibited before.

Detailing the charming story of an eventful hike through Gariwerd (the Grampians), shared by a boy and his uncle, the illustrations included in this exhibition feature insightful detail of local Koori placenames and reflect the beauty of the flora and fauna found in the Grampians.

The exhibition has been scheduled to coincide with the 2017 Dunkeld Adventure - Serra Terror, an endurance event held in the Grampians National Park every June long weekend. Serra Terror Committee member Georgie Mann will officially open the exhibition as an acknowledgment to the book's setting in the Grampians region. The Serra Terror event, in which teams hike an amazing 80kms over two days, takes a new path each year to maximise the breathtaking scenery that the Grampians has to offer. Both the book and the event encourage people to be out in nature and showcase the beauty of this spectacular region; its natural landscape, flora and fauna.

Gallery Director Sarah Schmidt said the exhibition developed serendipitously. "I bought a book in Sydney for my son's birthday. It was not until I reached home, the Grampians region, that I realised this book was all about Gariwerd, The Grampians. Having been keen to include both children's illustration and botanical illustration in the exhibition program, this was the perfect opportunity. It is just the territory that Serra Terror covers so we hope our bush walkers will call into the Gallery and view these illustrations of the terrain they will cover. Last year, a Gallery team, The Von Guerard Eugenias, walked these mountains highlighting the fact a colonial artist in the Gallery's collection, Eugene Von Guerard, had travelled these same mountains producing views of the scenery. This year we present this exhibition to highlight a great local event. The Gallery enjoys engaging with its local community to produce a program that resonate with local events and themes."

The book has been shortlisted for the 2017 Children's book of the year for younger readers, an award that will see it placed in every library and school around Australia. The artist, Trace Balla said of this win, "It's good for the environment if kids are reading more about nature. I was happy to see the environment theme and indigenous themes flagged with books like my own and that of Bruce Pascoe and Aunty Joy Murphy."

The Many Story Treehouse: Illustrations by Terry Denton is an exhibition of Terry Denton's original illustrations, sketches and layouts showing the development of crazy ideas, characters and stories for The Treehouse series developed with author, Andy Griffiths.

The exhibition features full colour originals of cover drawings that will be familiar to all youngsters who love this incredibly popular series of books, from The 13-Storey Treehouse to The 65-Storey Treehouse and all in-between. Young readers can also check out original drawings of the many wacky characters and crazy time machines that are described in the books. And for those who like to get hands-on, there's a massive mural and many drawings to colour in on-the-spot, as well as a giant cardboard cut-out for crazy photographs.

The Children's Book Illustration Bonanza, combining 'Rockhopping: Illustrations from the book by Trace Balla', an exhibition assembled by Hamilton Gallery and 'The Many Storey Treehouse: Illustrations by Terry Denton' will be on display from the 1 June - 16 July 2017. The exhibitions will be officially opened on Wednesday 31 May 2017 at 4pm. Entry to both the exhibitions and the opening is free.

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Southern Grampians Shire Council

State Government of Victoria