Hairy Maclary, Slinky Malinki and Scarface Claw have all become household names;making their way around the world and into our hearts. Their creator, Lynley Dodd, has sold more than five million copies of Hairy Maclary alone. She has written and illustrated thirty books and has won the Children’s Picture Book of the Year award four times.
A rare treat to hit Australian soil, the Lynley Dodd: A Retrospective exhibition celebrates the work of this beloved children's author-illustrator. It showcases a collection of 59 original drawings from her books, and details her journey in becoming a dynamic force in the children’s picture book industry.
Dodd was somewhat nervous to let her drawings leave her hometown of Tauranga NZ. Many of the illustrations have never been on display before. Her original illustrations date back to her school days and her work as a newspaper cartoonist in the 1970s, as well as her most recent publications.
The different stages of her process, including page layouts and notations with printing instructions are a highlight. Also included are the illustrations and layout from Dodd’s first picture book collaboration with Eve Sutton in 1974, My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes. And no one could walk past a very small sketch on lined shopping paper, dated 1979, of a scraggly little dog and these words written beneath:
One morning at nine, on his way to the park, went Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy.
As you wander through this magnificent exhibition, you will get a sense that Dodd works completely by hand, with no digital assistance at all. All of her work is beautifully executed, making this a magical exhibition sure to delight all ages.
If you are a lover of children’s literature, the Lynley Dodd: A Retrospective exhibition is a must see. The touring exhibition has already been to Rockhampton, Cairns and Goulbourn. It is currently showing at the MPRG, Mornington Victoria until Sunday 21st September. It will then make its way to the State Library in Sydney from 1 November 2014 to 15 March 2015, and then onto the State Library in Adelaide, 29 March to 29 May 2015.