Art from the Heart at HeARTlines Festival

Mandurah Arts Centre partners with Act-Belong-Commit to create a childrens literature and illustration festival.

Kids will enjoy a reading by the Kylie Howarth of her new book 1,2 Pirate stew, as part of her art workshop. Photo credit: Kylie Howarth.

Kids will enjoy a reading by the Kylie Howarth of her new book 1,2 Pirate stew, as part of her art workshop. Photo credit: Kylie Howarth.

Kimberley McGivern, Reporter

Become a cartoonist, writer or a potato painter at the Act-Belong-Commit HeARTlines Children’s Literature and Illustration Festival 2017.

The month long festival begins with an open day on Saturday, 20 May, at Midland Junction Arts Centre from 10am to 3pm.

Families can book into a free workshop on the day, or enjoy one of the walk in activities and exhibition tours.

The workshops are designed to get people creating their own stories and artwork.

“I want kids to go home and read, or write, or draw. I want adults to do the same,” festival curator Cristy Burne told ECU Daily.

“Also reading aloud to your kids – even if they can already read for themselves. It is one of the most beautiful times you can share.”

The Festival will offer workshops, talks, exhibitions and demonstrations every day from artists and writers such as James Foley, Sarah Zel Chescoe, Kylie Howarth and Deb Fitzpatrick.

The festival offers a public program and a schools program, each with a variety of free and paid workshops for children, young people and adults.

Kylie Howarth is a Perth author and illustrator who will be running some workshops for children throughout the festival.

Ms Howarth took part in the festival in 2015 and told ECU Daily how the workshops help to get the artistic juices flowing.

“The textures in my illustrations are created using children’s art processes like finger painting and potato stamping.

“So the workshops are a great opportunity to work with kids and show them how they can take the textures they create further and use them in collage and picture book illustration.

“I enjoy seeing the techniques the kids come up with themselves. They often come up with art ideas I had never thought of, as I encourage them to explore and experiment with the materials.”

The festival is designed to help children express themselves through art, and to inspire them to become the next generation of WA artists.

“I’d like students to take away a finished illustration they are proud of. One created using techniques and materials they had never tried before,” said Ms Howarth.

“Hopefully inspiring them to get creative and not be afraid to try new things.”

An exhibition of book illustrations from some of WA’s most acclaimed artists will be on throughout the festival, showcasing work from Moira Court, James Foley, Frané Lessac, Matt Ottley, Kyle Hughes-Odgers, Kylie Howarth, and many more.

The exhibition will give visitors a glimpse into the artistic journey these artists take when creating their work.

Author Cristy Burne is curating the festival, and said this years’ event will be the best so far.

“We want to represent a range of artistic styles, of story subjects, and of people, but most of all we want to create something fun and inspiring,” said Ms Burne.

The event is run in partnership with Act-Belong-Commit; a government initiative to promote mental health awareness through community engagement.

“Act Belong Commit is the perfect partner for HeARTlines, because when you’re creating for children, you’re creating stories that have uplifting endings, where anything is possible, and even dragons can be overcome,” said Ms Burne.

“A great children’s book doesn’t pretend life is perfect and beautiful, a great children’s book tackles problems and shows children that they have a powerful part to play in this world.”

To view all the events and workshops Act-Belong-Commit HeARTlines Children’s Literature and Illustration Festival has to offer, head to their website.