Monday, March 29, 2010

Winner of the 2009 Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award.

The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) announced the Winner of the 2009 Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award*. It is:

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
By Lewis Carroll
Illustrated by Oleg Lipchenko
ISBN 978-0-88776932-0
US $22.95 / CAN $24.99
All ages

“…Oleg Lipchenko has turned this classic story into a rich expression for both the youngest reader greeting Alice for the first time and those who remember reading the original Alice as children...Lipchenko’s illustrations are more than images on a page, they are a homage to the surreality and humour of Carroll’s text as well as a meticulously and brilliantly constructed vision of a longstanding tradition in children’s literature.” – Jury’s comments

* The Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award was established in 1985 following the death of Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver, one of Canada's pre-eminent book illustrators. In her will, Cleaver left a fund of $10,000 dollars for an award to be given annually in recognition of outstanding artistic talent in a Canadian picture book. The recipient receives a cheque for $1,000 dollars and a certificate.

The Cleaver Award is administered by a committee of three members of the Canadian section of the International Board on Books for Young People. The recipient is a Canadian illustrator of a picture book published in Canada in English or French during the previous calendar year. To be eligible, the book must be a first edition and contain original illustrations. All genres are considered: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, folk and fairy tales.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mutants, Darwin and manipulating with Nature - Ji Yong Ho

The modern Korean-born sculptor Ji Yong Ho creates sculptures of animals from truck, bicycle and automobile tires. “The product is from nature, from the white sap of latex trees. But here it’s changed. The color is black. The look is scary.” Ji Yong Ho considers that he promotes the revival of the used tree trunks, giving them new forms of a life. He says: “My concept is mutation—mutants.” His vision of mutants originates from the theory of Darwin, from genetic engineering, and from the means by which humans manipulate the nature utilizing the theory of evolution. Ji Yong Ho considers his art as a warning; if we’re not careful, we may soon lose the ability to see animals in their natural state altogether.

Ji Yong Ho about his unique technique: "I usually use cut tires, old tires, because I want to figure out my own unique materials. Tires have a lot of patterns and tires come from nature or laboratory or oil, so I want to give them second life. Usually for the chest or shoulders I need big tires, big size tires, so I use tractor tires, and then the body shape I use auto bike tires, and then the face I need more details, so I use the bicycles tires."

Ned Ryerson
Image courtesy of Gana Art Gallery

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Venetian Masquerade Masks - History and Uses

The use of Venetian masquerade masks originated from Venice, Italy for their festival. This kind of mask was worn during the Carnival that was first documented use was shown as far back as the 13th century.

During the carnival in Venice, people used masks to hide their true faces and be able to mingle with people of different social standings. This way their identity and social status are kept hidden. This is also true for today's masquerade parties where Venetian masquerade masks are worn. Wearing of Venetian masks was more favoured by the upper classes during the past centuries.

Aside from hiding the identity of the wearers, men and women are able to experiment sexually without the fear of being recognized. Anyone who admires somebody is able to express his or her love or affection without having to show his or her face. People tend to say more and become more honest when they wear masks. They can do what they want more freely and inhibitions are released.

The modern Venetian masks, just like the Venetian masks worn back in 13th century are characterized by their complex designs. They are featured with bright colors accented with gold or silver. Most of the designs of the Venetians are adopted from Commedia dell'arte. These masks are of different shapes and they can also be full-face masks such as Bauta or eye masks such as Columbina.

Venetian masquerade masks can be made from several materials such as plasters, leather and paper mache. They are usually hand painted that have fabric trims, jewels and other materials to enhance them.

Aside from the examples of Venetian masquerade masks that were mentioned, other kinds of these masks are Volto or Larva, Moretta, Medico Della Peste or "The Plague Doctor" and others. The classical long nose style of masks is still a popular kind of Venetian masquerade masks that are worn at many events.

These kinds of masks have been used and are famous in the Hollywood. They were used in the film Eyes Wide Shut where Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman are the lead actor and actress.

Venetian masquerade masks are still being worn by many people who attend masquerade balls to bring elegance and beauty to the ones who wear them.

Serena Mason is a masquerade masks expert with years of experience in the industry. Check out her sites on masquerade ball masks by clicking the links now!