Saturday, December 3, 2011

Happily Ever After opens at Manly Library

Walking through the doors of Manly Library, one is greeted by an intriguing trail of red paper petals, carefully cut out and stuck to the floor. Today, with our gaze firmly fixed to the floor, we wandered along and found some great things to see and do: a shadow puppet play of Rumpelstiltskin by David Murray and Theo Stephens; zine demonstrations by the funky Chris Tamm; printmaking demonstrations by Annie Day and Rosanna Jurisevic of the Warringah Printmakers Studio. And throughout the space, in glass cabinets, are the wonderful artists' books from the Happily Ever After exhibition.

One of the great things about today's event is that the demonstrations ranged from the street to the salon, with Chris' zines firmly in the blue corner of graphic art and comic book heroes (and heroines), and Annie and Rosanna's red corner representing the fine arts, and referencing (amongst other things) traditional Japanese printmaking techniques and innovative new low toxicity/green printing processes.

David and Murray's shadow puppets brought the oral traditions of fairy tales to life with a great version of the traditional tale which mesmerised both kids and adults. Before the show, various kids tried to peer under the stage curtain to see how the magic was done, and afterwards the same children clustered around to inspect the puppets. The miller's daughter was a cocktail sipping Vogue silhouette (in circa 1940 ball gown) while Rumpelstiltskin was everything an evil little leprechaun should be: spiky, deranged and agile. But the stand out shadow puppet wasn't even human, or faery: it was a cleverly constructed spinning wheel, for turning straw into gold, whose wheel actually span.

We can report that just next to the library is a cute little cafe, Cafe Hum, which does a thoroughly decent sandwhich or toastie and has nice staff. If you haven't been to Manly recently, make the Happily Ever After exhibition your excuse to check it out. We also enjoyed the Manly Council's Fair Trade market stalls (what a great initiative!), the local sourdough bakery, stunning weather and a ferry ride blessed by blue skies and racing yachts.

Happily Ever After is at Manly Library until January 29th, 2012.

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