Another supplement to our January-February update on illustrators…
Whenever I browsed children’s books in Australia (I was there September-December, 2007), I was drawn to the vivid illustrations of award-winning Aboriginal artist and designer Bronwyn Bancroft, whose most recent books, published by Little Hare, are An Australian ABC of Animals (2005), Patterns of Australia (2006), and An Australian 123 of Animals (2007). Throughout Bronwyn’s multi-faceted career she has been raising consciousness about Aboriginal culture. Early on, she developed a line of textiles based on Aboriginal patterns that’s now in a museum collection (search here). She’s also an internationally recognized painter with work in many museum collections. Her painting, “You don’t even look Aboriginal,” inspired a widely-used classroom teaching unit in Australian schools.
Bronwyn’s children’s book illustrations were award-winners from the get-go. The Fat and Juicy Place, written by Dianna Kidd, won the Australian Multicultural Children’s book award in 1993. Her illustrations of Stradbroke Dreamtime were the Australian candidate for the Ezra Jack Keats international award for excellence in children’s book illustrations. (These prestigious awards have since been discontinued.)
In this transcript of an inspiring 2004 Australian national television (ABC) profile, Bronwyn talks about her early life and the development of her work, career, and mission.