Discover the remarkable world of Jeannie Baker at Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha
It’s one thing to create an award-winning picture book, but one that fuses art, literature and science? That’s a true masterpiece. Lauded children’s author and artist Jeannie Baker’s latest picture book Circle does just that, and has been brought to life with an insightful travelling exhibition.
Have you ever heard of the bar-tailed godwit? They are also called Limosa lapponica baueri, if you want to get scientific. These incredible birds are world-record holders for non-stop flight – each year they embark on the longest unbroken migration of any animal as they fly, for nine nights and nine days, non-stop from their Alaskan breeding grounds to Australia and New Zealand. For thousands of years godwit birds have followed invisible pathways in the sky on their journey, all the way from the icy north to the tropical south. Jeannie’s Circle captures the wonder of this unbelievable migratory circle of life, reminding us of the global interdependence of nature and that “changes we make in one place can cause a chain reaction in other places, even at the opposite end of the world”.
The science of our natural world was not only the inspiration for the story of Circle, but also features in the exquisitely detailed and textured collages created by Jeannie for each page of the book, which feature in the exhibition of the same name at Brisbane Botanic Gardens’ Richard Randall Art Studio. Jeannie’s works start as drawings, which evolve into collages concentrating on colour and texture. The collages use both natural and artificial materials, with the artist often creating textures using the actual materials portrayed, such as feathers, bark, earth and knitted wool. She also preserves and adds permanent colour to plants to create much of the vegetation in her work.
You can marvel at these incredible works at Circle – Jeannie Baker Wednesdays to Sundays from January 9 to February 25 at Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha’s Richard Randall Art Studio. For more information, head to our Event Guide.