Ronald Searle RIP

Years ago, in my favourite bookshop in a basement in Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, I came across a small collection of a publication called “ARK”, published by The Royal College of Art. I’m not sure which years they hail from – probably early to mid 1950’s – but they are great little books, featuring articles for and by students, and featuring advertisements designed by the RCA students as well. The limited colour palette (most pages are black and white, and any additional colours look like they’ve been hand separated), lends itself to a predominance of drawings and sketches for the imagery – a lot of which are beautifully graphic in that mid 50’s way. Very inspiring!

Last week I thumbed through these books for the first time in years, and was reminded of this great illustrated article by Ronald Searle, recounting his experiences as a POW in the second world war, and working on the publication “The Survivor” (with a “print order of five and a readership of fifty thousand”). I thought more people should see it… then came the news that Mr. Searle had passed away. I show these pages as a modest tribute. (more info and scans of the actual pages from “The Survivor” can be seen here:




Ronald Searle / page 1



Ronald Searle / page 2



Ronald Searle / page 3



Ronald Searle / page 4

Rapture – IA 9×5 Exhibition & Auction

Sonia Kretschmar IA 9x5 entry 2011


The annual Illustrators Australia 9×5 show – in which each IA member is sent a 9×5 inch piece of plywood and is asked to create a work on a given theme – is almost upon us again! This year the theme is “Rapture” – the pierce above is entitled “Isadora’s Dream” , as Isadora Duncan was the most rapturously inspired subject I could think of. (The medium I used is acrylic and varnish on wood, with gold wax highlights.) The opening is on October 14, 2011 at Space 39, 39 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, Australia from 6pm onwards. All work is for sale, with a reserve price of $195. If more than one person is interested in a piece, it goes to a silent auction. It’s always a bit of a fun night 🙂 The exhibition is also open on Sunday, from 10am – 4pm (There is a seminar being held on the Saturday, so it will be closed to the general public). You can see the rest of the show here