2019 has been a busy year so far for Turner Books, and it’s about to get even busier!
Mandurian Stories is now officially closed for submissions, although if you have a burning last-minute desire to get involved, I will be accepting late entries for another week or so. I've been blown away by the quality (and quantity!) of the work I've received from so many magnificent Mandurians!
I'm working on the layouts at the moment, and it’s looking beautiful so far. I will be announcing the launch date sometime over the next few weeks. I can’t wait for you all to get your copy of the book and see our community’s beautiful work in print!
Thank you so much to everyone involved, especially Shape Mandurah, without whom, Mandurian Stories wouldn’t exist as anything beyond a dream.
Speaking of beautiful things, the Wearable Art Mandurah 2019 Showcase is being held in June. We go every year, because it’s spectacular.
This year, my sister, Azalia, has had her garment selected to be part of the showcase. Congratulations Azalia!
Azalia’s garment is called, ‘The Process of Self Sabotage’, because when Azalia was close to finally finishing her garment, she realised her perfectionism was making the process too stressful. She decided to pull out of the competition, and reclaim her sanity by ‘destroying’ her careful work - stabbing and shooting her garment with paint. She chose colours that were symbolic to her, and used a spray bottle and paintbrushes to physically (and figuratively) sabotage her own perfectionism. She felt much better once she had done that! She decided she would no longer participate in Wearable Art, even though she loves it, because she recognised that sometimes you just have to let go of attachment to an idea or outcome.
I’m so glad Azalia did agree for her garment to be entered after all, because she loves going to the Wearable Showcases, and she is so excited for her piece to be a part of it.
Azalia started making her first Wearable Art Garment when she was six, and attended her first Judging Day when she was seven. She used a lot of plastic and safety pins that year, which didn’t turn out to be very comfortable!
In later years, Azalia learned how to knit, in order to make the garment more comfortable to wear.
This year, Azalia used a combination of shopping bags, photos, and pages from books, stapled together. It didn’t look exactly as she imagined it would, but I think it looks great. Ironically the paint intended to ‘wreck’ the garment is my favourite part!
I don’t think Azalia has finished making her video of this year’s garment creation, but if she posts one, I’ll update this post with a link to it.
In the meantime, here is Azalia, at the Youth Judging Day, with a lovely Metro model (who Azalia says was just wonderful!) wearing Azalia's garment - The Process of Self Sabotage.
I also have some good news of my own. My poem, The Lonely Chair, has been shortlisted in the Golden Pen Award! The Golden Pen Award is part of Scribblers Festival, which is an annual literature and arts festival for young people. I’m really looking forward to attending on the 11th and 12th of May.
Another exciting thing happening at the moment is the Peel Bright Minds ESTEAM Awards are now open for nominations! I know who I am nominating, and maybe you have someone in your life you would like to nominate, to celebrate the best of ESTEAM achievements in the Peel Region.
One person I know who has contributed to the arts in amazing ways is Cindy Wright. Cindy has been my art teacher for many years, and now I am her intern, which makes me very happy. If you live in (or near Mandurah) and you are looking for an amazing art class for your kids, you won’t find a better teacher than Cindy. She is an amazing artist, mentor, and friend.
Another fun thing you might want to look into is Riptide, in Mandurah. Azalia and I attended their Open Day a while back, and we will be going back for more Riptide-y awesomeness on the 3rd and 4th of May for the You Are... Festival. If you’re a young person in the area, you won’t want to miss this. Well, you might want to miss it, but I certainly don’t!
There are always so many awesome arts events in Mandurah. CASM’s Masterpieces 2K19 exhibition is on at the moment. My artwork, ‘Soaring Free’, is in the exhibition, and so is my friend Hannah’s award-winning digital art piece, 'Gift'.
Last month I participated in Vivid Gallery’s En Plein Air exhibition. It’s something I really look forward to every year. I always paint the exact same scene, so I can see how my painting skills evolve and improve with each passing year. It’s a wonderful event, and I look forward to doing it all again next year at Crabfest. If you think you might want to get involved, keep an eye out on the Vivid Art Collective's Facebook page early next year for more details.
As some of you already know, I’ve been volunteering at Peel Zoo for nearly nine months now. I absolutely love it, because I love all the animals, and it makes me feel very happy. If volunteering is something you’re interested in, you might want to get in touch with Peel Zoo, as they are taking on new volunteers at the moment.
We have one more week left of school holidays, which means I have one more week to try and cram in as much study, Mandurian Stories prep, and drawing, as I can before everything gets crazy busy again!
I hope you’re all enjoying your holidays, and I hope everyone’s Easter weekend was filled with fantastic family, friends, fun, and food.
By Xanthe Turner
Xanthe Turner loves drawing so much, she has developed callouses on her drawing hand, and is rarely seen without a sketchbook. Her natural habitat is a novel-filled bedroom.
In addition to illustrating (and publishing) books, Xanthe enjoys creating comics, fan art, sculptures, cosplay, and paintings. Xanthe plays guitar and piano (not at the same time) and her life goal is to befriend a sentient robot.