Monday, October 29, 2012

Ray Ching’s New Work Features in Exhibition and Book - Aesop’s Kiwi Fable

Many of us grew up with the charming, though sometimes brutal, Aesop’s fables. Now, internationally renowned artist Ray Ching brings the fables ‘home’ in a stunning, whimsical Kiwi take on one of the world’s most enduring story collections.

In this beautifully produced book, Ray Ching’s drawing and painting skills, familiar to New Zealanders through his widely seen paintings of birds, are imaginatively engaged in an altogether new expression of Aesop’s Fables. The stories have left their origins in Greece and ancient Europe and set off to the distant isles of New Zealand. In Aesop’s Kiwi Fables the tales are told by the inhabitants of these islands, mostly birds, who take the place of the more traditional players; Tui are as smart as Crows, and Tuatara is as dogged as the Tortoise, to successfully win his race over Possum.

An introduction by Richard Wolfe gives an insight into the work and art of Ray Ching and a brief history of Aesop’s fables in publication.

·       Publication accompanies an exhibition of original paintings shown in the book beginning 20 November at Artis Gallery in Parnell, Auckland.
·       Exhibition will tour nationwide in 2013.

With all 47 fables accompanied by Ching’s magnificent, full colour paintings, this is a book for young and old to treasure.

Ray Ching
Considered by many to be one of the best wildlife painters of the twentieth century, Raymond Harris Ching’s career as an artist started with his first exhibition ‘Thirty Birds’ in Auckland in 1966.

Discovered by publisher and ornithologist Sir William Collins who introduced him to British wildlife painter Sir Peter Scott, Ching soon left for the United Kingdom and in one year produced over 200 individual paintings for the Reader’s Digest Book of British Birds, published in 1969. This has gone on to become the world’s most successful and biggest-selling ornithological book and remains in print today.

Raymond Ching’s curiously un-English sounding name is Cornish in origin, and it is from there that his family sailed for New Zealand in 1840, settling in Nelson. It was there, on the family farm, that Ray Ching was introduced to the birds and other creatures that have remained central to his art.

Books on his paintings include: Raymond Ching, The Bird Paintings (1978), Studies & Sketches of a Bird Painter (1981), New Zealand Birds (1987), Wild Portraits (1988), Journey of an Artist (1990), Kiwis, A Monograph of the Family Apterygidae (1990), Voice from the Wilderness (1994).

Today his home is in Bradford-on-Avon, England. Ching is married to author Carol Sinclair.

Aesop’s Kiwi Fables by Ray Ching  |  published 20 November 2012  |  David Bateman Publishing |  Full Colour Hardback  |  rrp. $ 49.99

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