The National Centre proudly holds the artwork for Narelle Oliver’s picture books for children – everything relating to 14 books. It is a stunning collection which showcases her monumental achievements in art, education and story. The National Centre believes that such work must continue to be shared with children and all interested. This is where Greg Oliver, Narelle’s husband, comes in. Along with his friend, Peter Campbell, they are determined to bring Narelle’s lifetime of creating children’s picture books to a wide audience. But how?
Narelle sadly died last year. She is sorely missed, but her work will now live on and be available to a wide audience. Greg and Peter are rejuvenating Narelle’s website and will be showcasing her creative work there. With that aim in mind, they visited the National Centre on Friday 17 August to photograph the original artwork for four of the 14 books we hold. These include ‘Fox and Fine Feathers’, ‘Rock Pool Secrets’ and two others.
Fortunately, Max Brown had just completed 11 months of work, documenting each and every piece of art and every preliminary for her books. These descriptions are highly detailed and appear on the NCACL website here.
These ‘artwork frameworks’ mean that Greg and Peter could photograph Narelle’s creative process from its inception to its execution, as much as that is ever possible. On the website they are constructing, Narelle’s work will become a delectable smorgasbord for all to explore and work through her creative process. There are gems like storyboards, dummies, preliminary sketches, final artwork, even bird feathers and her amazing linocuts. They are all there for sharing. Such art must never be allowed to vanish from sight and from our memories.