Just Imagine – Wollongong City Gallery

Just over a month ago I was opening the Just Imagine exhibition at the Wollongong Art Gallery. To steal directly from the exhibition website: An exciting program which encourages children’s creative writing skills by the exploration of real and imagined worlds experienced through close engagement with art.

As author in residence my role included running workshops for teachers, primary students and high school students. I love workshops. It’s so inspiring. There is no more powerful creative force than a young imagination. A simple exercise on metaphors and similes yielded a rainbow of lorikeets and a city of stars in the sky. Beautiful images that are still with me.
There has always been a relationship between literature and art. Ever since the first story tellers stood in front of cave paintings, turning art into words. No doubt exaggerating their own part and amping up the action to make it the best story possible.

I searched the Internet to find a good example of art inspiring literature for my opening speech. I immediately stumbled upon Isle of the Dead by Albert Bocklin. I had never heard of it before. A haunting, evocative, gothic image. It’ll be appearing in one of my pages soon. It inspired twelve novels, stories or mentions in novels as well as film and theatre scripts and anime. But you know I shouldn’t have needed to look. I’ve never been to any of the places I write about but I immerse myself in photos and art to help imagine.

So the relationship between literature and art is as old as the caves. But what is totally new is the vision new young writers bring to an image. It was wonderful to be a part of it.

In the picture: Natalie from the Wollongong Unishop who sponsor the creative writing competition, Rachel who wrote a winning story based on the picture behind us January Fires by Clem Millward, and me.

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One response to “Just Imagine – Wollongong City Gallery”

  1. twittertales says:

    Hi Sandy,
    I’m the tall lady in the ankle-length velvet dress who came and leant on the table at the NSW Writers’ Centre festival to tell you how fabulous you are. I’ve done it slightly more coherantly in a review today on my web site. twittertales[dot]wordpress[dot]com. You can quote anything you like from there.
    Louise Curtis

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