Jeannie Baker’s ‘Circle’ Exhibition had guests in awe of the detailed 3D close-up canvases of her latest book – ‘Circle’. Numerous literary, art and science enthusiasts were fascinated with the large, original artworks. Curator Dale Arvidsson, of the Botanical Gardens, Mt Coot-tha launched the ‘Circle’ Exhibition at Richard Randall Art Studio, Mt Coot-tha.
‘Circle’ was inspired by the longest unbroken migration of the bar-tailed godwits (Limosa lapponica baueri). Jeannie Baker’s passion for the environment and the godwits shorebirds saw her travel to each location to: continue research; gather unique collage materials; and photograph shorebirds, habitats, predators, including outlaying areas.
‘Circle’ Back and Front Cover – Original Collaged Canvas
Before Photos with After Canvases
On-location photographs show images before design work. Photos on the left inspired Jeannie’s 3D collaged artworks – on the right for ‘Circle’ book.
- Looking down through window of tall building
- In plane flying over lakes and land
- At bird level – camouflaged godwits in ground coverage
Display Board of Collage Materials
Each canvas reveals layer-upon-layer of grasses, sand, discarded feathers, fabrics, textiles, paper, sea sponge etc., used to depict each scene.
Artwork (left) and a Close-up part (right)
Jeannie Baker’s International reputation as an Artist is well known for her technical, detailed, meticulous and intricate 3D collaged artwork. According to exhibition guests who saw her original hand-constructed canvas scene for the first time said, ‘… this is unbelievable, breathtaking, incredible… .’ Jeannie’s next project will also take about five (5) years.
The Five Year Book Process
After Jeannie’s research, writing and designing stages of her books, she has a lot of discussion between herself, her editor and designer.
‘It’s usual for them to question various details and see ways to communicate my ideas more effectively.’
She then works and reworks her story and art pieces until everyone is satisfied. While working on the canvas collages, she’s still ‘refining and developing ideas and images before it is photographed’ for reproduction. She works on the drawings until she gets to the point where there is ‘no way of taking ideas further’. That’s when the layout drawings are bound into a book and sent to her publisher. Then a few last minute discussions before it goes to print.
Artist Notes – Migrating Godwits Shorebirds
Jeannie’s book, ‘Circle’ revealed how determined she was about bringing the plight of the godwits and their diminishing habitats to the attention of the world. She was amazed with their…
“11,000km journey from their northern home in Alaska to their southern home in Australia and New Zealand without even stopping to rest. On their return to the north, the godwits need to stop and feed in the wetlands of Southeast Asia, especially those around the Yellow Sea. Wetlands are important for migrating water birds as they provide areas where the birds can rest and find food, enabling them to complete their journeys. The Yellow Sea wetlands are rapidly disappearing as a result of land reclamation and development, and the godwits and other migrating shorebirds are finding it harder and harder to find places where they can rest and feed.
The annual movements across the world, of millions of birds, sea creatures and other animals remind us that everything in nature is interdependent and connected. The changes we make on one side of the world can have consequences in another. The challenge we face now is how to live our lives without destroying the places that are crucial to the shorebirds’ ancient, wondrous Circle of Life.” (Artist Notes)
At ‘Circle’ Exhibition
Dr Rob Clemens, a migratory shorebird expert, spoke at the launch about the local environment of Moreton Bay, Brisbane (Qld, Australia), the shorebirds, and the bay as their home.
‘Circle’, Jeannie Baker’s traveling exhibition is…
- Open Wednesday to Sunday, 10:00am – 2:00pm
- At Richard Randall Art Studio, Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt Coot-tha Road, Toowong
- Until Sunday 25th February, 2018.
- Entry is by Gold coin donation.
Photos at Launch and Exhibition
The Botanical Gardens, Mt Cootha team looking after Jeannie Baker.
Jeannie Baker inspiring our future artists
The young boy, is son of author/illustrator Yvonne Mes and President, Brisbane Book Links (Qld) Inc.
He asks Jeannie Baker, ‘Do you use sea sponges?’
Guests were treated to a spectacular floral arrangement, especially organised for Jeannie Baker, at the Launch’s Auditorium Entrance. Arrangement by Botanical Gardens’ Horticulturalist and Senior Gardener, Marina Leahy.
Bowl: Brachychiton acerifolius (Illawarra Flame Tree) and Magnolia grandiflora (Bull Bay Magnolia).
Front podium and back flowers are Backinghamia celsissima (Ivory Curl Tree)