Sunday 13 September – By Melanie Hill
Yvonne Mes attended the previous Story Arts festival as a new attendee. This year she was ecstatic to be an author launching her first book: The latest in Random House’s ‘Meet…’ series, Meet Sidney Nolan.
Yvonne explained how her upbringing in Amsterdam, a city with vibrant galleries, and being surrounded by her father’s artist friends influenced her to develop not only a love of art, but also an interest in the story of the artist.
When asked to write Meet Sidney Nolan, Yvonne immersed herself in researching Sidney’s life, which included desertion, affairs, and a number of other interesting incidents, but she was faced with the problem of which parts to include in a children’s book.
The series of Ned Kelly paintings are arguably Nolan’s most well known art works. He had spoken about how these paintings included hidden messages about his own life. So a mystery, and vibrant paintings about one of Australia’s most notorious historical figures, were chosen as the focal point of the book. It concentrates on how these paintings were created as well as Sidney’s early life.
Yvonne was very pleased when the artist and illustrator Sandra Eterovic was chosen to provide the visual narrative for the story. When you see her work, you get the feeling that Sidney would have approved of using her paintings to illustrate a book about him.
Together Sandra and Yvonne have produced a beautifully written and illustrated story for children that will stand out amongst the ‘Meet…’ series. Welcome to the world Meet Sidney Nolan, and congratulations Yvonne and Sandra.
Yvonne grew up in Amsterdam but has made her home in Brisbane. Her second book, Oliver’s Grumbles will also come out soon. http://www.yvonnemes.com/
Melanie Hill is a Brisbane based author. http://melaniehill.weebly.com/