[ESL Tour in Giles LaRoche's gallery at Danforth]
A while ago while doing one of the ESL tours at Danforth, I was quite surprised by elated instant responses of ESL students as they got off the museum elevator & stepped into Giles LaRoche's gallery. Some of the responses I documented were:
- Ahaa--I've been there when I was a kid!
- Look at that-these small people - they are so colorful & beautiful.
- Maravilhosa! Patterns in cathedral's glass windows make me so happy.
- Puxa - I'll get my cousin here for sure.
I hoped that one day I could share these euphoric responses with the master illustrator. Thanks to Danforth-I could not only meet Giles Laroche today but also hear him speak about how he creates the intricate paper collages, get an overview of his drawing style (use of exactoknife, paper, book dummy etc) & see him give a jaw-dropping demo of carving paper-house from a plain sheet of paper (he calls his work PAPER RELIEF)!
[Shri Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India, 2000]
Later during one-on-one conversation with Giles, I told him that I see a strong connection(art/aesthetics wise) between his illustration of Shri Meenakshi Amman Temple and Ashland Temple snaps (erswhile blog post) and to my utter amazement he smiled and nodded in agreement! He said something on the lines of "There are amazing things everywhere-one just needs to be able to observe(closely), capture (carry a sketchbook) & express it with the best of one's ability!", which I found quite impressive! When one pays close attention to subtleties in his artworks, his statement does make immediate sense. Unless one observes vivid details of things with a still mind, it seems quite difficult to transfer the same from mind to a sketchpaper.
Visit our museum between now & May 16th to see "Bridges Across Cultures!" exhibit and join us in appreciating illustrations that celebrate construction & architecture from around the world! Also check out Giles website to view his artworks and these 100 extraordinary works of paper art when you have a moment :D
Art is not about thinking something up. It is the opposite - getting something down.~Julia Cameron
[Image Courtesy-Giles LaRoche]