Thursday, September 4, 2014

Beautiful Book #10

The Story of Rosy Dock by Jeannie Baker. Walker, 1995.

It was not easy to pick a single title by British-born, Australian collage artist Jeannie Baker as I love all her work and find that each book succeeds in in its own way. She is likely best known for her 1991 wordless picture book, Window, and I came very close to selecting her 1980 nearly wordless book, Millicent, which imagines the inner thoughts of an elderly woman who feeds the pigeons in Sydney's Hyde Park. I have included one image from Millicent here to demonstrate the detail Baker brings to the human form.

In The Story of Rosy Dock, Baker shows how dramatically the ecology of a landscape can be affected by the introduction of new species, in this case the flowering plant Rosy Dock which was brought to Australia by European settlers from its natural habitat in north Africa-western Asia, and which has now spread as a weed across much of the Australian desert. You will notice in one of the pictures below that the book also has a wordless nod to the similarly devastating ecological impact of the rabbit on Australia.

If you want to learn more about Baker in her own words, there is an interview with her here:

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