Friday, February 20, 2015

Open art

Me, standing proudly beside some of my art: clockwise, l to r, the first page of "Alchemy Hour", four pages of my residential work-in-progress "Natural Desire", a page from "Escape Behaviours" and one from "Orcus" (the full comic of "Orcus" can be read in the latest issue of Funtime Comics Anthology).

I just got back from Taiwan, where I participated in the second half of the NZ Book Council's Graphic Novelist Exchange Residency in association with the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ) and the Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE).

"Warkworth" from "Escape Behaviours", my epic graphic poem about marriage, migration and stuttering.

There's so much I want to tell you about - too much for one post - so I'll talk about the graphic novelists' exhibition today, then (because I still haven't finished posting about the first half of the residency, that happened back in October) I'll try to zoom through the whole residency and get up to speed with current events in the next few posts and post more about the book fair after that - I can't believe it's almost March already!


Muriwai Ihakara

New Zealand was the 2015 Guest of Honour at the Taipei International Book Exhibition, which opened with a blessing given by Muriwai Ihakara.

Ant Sang, Tim Gibson, 61 Chi, Ahn Zhe, Sean Chuang and I were lucky enough to have works selected for exhibition and luckier still to be given such a spacious exhibition arena, right by the busy manga section of the TIBE main hall.

Ant Sang, with his awesome art: pages from "Shaolin Burning" and work-in-progress from the residency. 

 It was the best feeling in the world to see my work blown up so huge and people taking their time to really look closely at it. 

61 Chi's art.

Information about the residential exchange and the artists' village, where we stayed for the residential part of our time in Taipei. 

More people looking at my work! 

Because I had submitted the most work-in-progress, I was very generously given eight stands to display it and was thrilled to see it all presented so beautifully - and so big!

Had I known my photo would be enlarged to this size, well...hindsight, eh? 

All the art looked amazing and it was especially touching to see it displayed with photographs taken during the residential exchange, both from Auckland and Taipei.

Tim Gibson's work and photographs from the residency. 

Tim Gibson, at the blessing.

Photographs from the residential exchange.

Sean Chuang's art. 

Ahn Zhe's art.

People who liked Rae's work also liked Ahn Zhe's work - 'cause it's poetry, innit?

My sincere gratitude to PANZ and the NZ Book Council for selecting me to participate in the Residential Exchange and the TIBE, and to their staff and Dala Publishing's staff in Taipei, who worked tirelessly to make the event a great success. Thank you.

Happy Chinese New Year!


Anonymous said...

It all looks spectacular, Rae! What kind of a response did you get to those huge display boards? What next?

Rachel Fenton said...

Thanks very much, Dick! The response was fantastic - really positive and I couldn't be more pleased. I even got asked for my autograph!

Next, we hope, is a book: an anthology of the graphic work from all six of us artists who participated in the exchange.

In the meantime, I'm working on the graphics to accompany a poem by Anita Heiss, for Cordite Poetry Reveiw, and putting the final touches to the last of the graphic work for the anthology.

Literary fiction-wise, I'm seeking representation for my Dundee IBP finalist novel and short story collection, looking to get a poetry pamphlet out - looking for paid work! - and readying to help launch the anthology of food fiction, Cooked Up, that I have a story in alongside Ben Okri and other luminaries! It's been a terrific start to the year!

Lori said...

Wow, that looks amazing, Rachel. I cannot even imagine the feeling! And you are such a gracious and generous soul! I would have made this post all about myself and thought that I deserved it, but you leave so much space for the other artists too.
Your work is so beautiful all blown up so big!

Kass said...

You chose some great photos to post here. It was great to follow your journey on Facebook. I'm glad you're getting recognition. You deserve it.

Rachel Fenton said...

Aww, Lori - thank you! It was the most exciting thing to be a part of - to have people come up to me and tell me how much they liked my work, that they went to look at it on purpose and not because they got lost in the exhibition arena!

Rachel Fenton said...

Thank you, Kass! I'm stoked you enjoyed the progress posts on Fb - and I'll be posting heaps more here inthe next few weeks.