Molly Moores Has Taken Over Our Adelaide Gallery

SA-based artist Ross Morgan has teamed up with author Kaliah Tsakalidis in their freshly published book, Molly Moores Has A House Like Yours. A spectacular book filled with imagination, beauty and surprise, the collaboration brings together Kaliah’s rhythmic prose with Ross’s fantastical full-page illustrations.

Author Kaliah Tsakalidis and illustrator Ross Morgan at the opening night.

Author Kaliah Tsakalidis and illustrator Ross Morgan at the opening night.

The story follows Molly, a little girl whose house, while just like our own, is abundant with unexpected adventure. The visually stunning picture book encourages its young readers to think creatively, use their imagination and to wonder, while reflecting their ability to form ideas that remain uncluttered by the experience and thoughts of grown-ups. By using a variety of rare words, Molly Moores Has A House Like Yours opens us all to rich conversations around what makes a home, moving house, and the diversity of homes and cultures – all from a child’s perspective.

Ross Morgan and Kaliah Tsakalidis showing the illustrations of their newly published book.

Prior to the opening night of the exhibition, a local school joined Ross and Kaliah for a reading of the book from the author. Ross Morgan described the process of the illustrations from initial sketches to the class.

The illustrations from the book are currently on display in the Bluethumb Adelaide gallery (click here to see them all). Last week saw the launch of the exhibition celebrating these works by Ross Morgan, which kicked off with a successful and well-received opening night. “There is a level of connection and inspiration that both the young and old have with Ross’ work,” gallery manager Amélia Davis commented on the night. “Young viewers are immediately drawn to the whimsical, delightful characters, and the adult audience instantly appreciates his high level of detail. These two aspects of Ross’ work have always combined to create enjoyable and intriguing works. So when Ross told me he was working on a new children’s book, I couldn’t wait to see the project. The result on display in our gallery is exquisite in detail, colour and sheer joyful expression.”

A child enjoying an activity in the Ross Morgan exhibition

The class got to enjoy an engaging activity related to the story.

The opening night contained a sense of delight and nostalgia as people were reminded through the works of simple pleasures. “Guests reminisced about a pair of yellow gumboots, or their favourite red train from their childhood memories,” explains Amélia. “We had a lot of fun window-dressing the exhibition including with a giant yellow rubber duck, and an enormous whale tail in our window. In the present climate, it’s lovely to be reminded of fun and adventure but with a fine art slant.”

Gallery Manager Amélia Davis during her speech on the opening night.

This is the first book published as part of Raising Literacy Australia’s Emerging Author and Illustrator Mentoring Program which started in 2018. Supported by the James and Diana Ramsey Foundation, the initiative gives unpublished authors and illustrators mentoring support through Raising Literacy Australia.

The finished piece! Published by The Little Book Press.

For over fifteen years, Raising Literacy Australia (RLA) has created new picture books for the free Reading Pack Program, gifting over 1.8 million books to South Australian families. Picture book libraries have also been established in vulnerable communities. Molly Moores Has A House Like Yours is one of two books created by emerging Australian artists that will be part of the RLA’s Preschool Reading Packs given in a gifting program to 23,000 South Australian preschool children.

Various paintings at the Ross Morgan exhibition

Clearly a lot of fun was had setting up the display!

Adelaide local? Swing by our gallery in Goodwood to say hi to the team and to check out Ross Morgan’s illustrations. Otherwise, you can view all of his available pieces on his Bluethumb profile. All photos featured in this blog are by Bluethumb’s In-House Photographer, Megan George.

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