When asked, ‘The Secret Garden’ and ‘A Little Princess’ by Frances Hodgson Burnett are often cited by children as being their favorite books. One of the most appealing editions features endearing illustrations by internationally renowned artist and botanical painter, Graham Rust.
Almost 100 original water colours, which were created to illustrate the two classics, will be exhibited for the first time, in Brompton Oratory, London on 3 October. All proceeds from the sale of the artworks will benefit Sightsavers, the international development charity which works to transform the sight and lives of some of the world’s poorest people.
Featuring a wealth of nostalgic details these delicately coloured drawings capture the essence of the stories, written in the early 1900’s, and generate a lifetime of haunting memories. There is the isolated, rambling country house with its lonely occupants, the transformation of a hidden wilderness into a loved garden bursting with wildlife in ‘The Secret Garden’. And the distinctive red-brick architecture of London’s Sloane Street, the seminar for young ladies and the differences that wealth makes – how will the heroine adapt to its loss? All aspects are depicted with great delicacy and detail.
They have been drawn in a wide range of sizes and sell from £250 up to £5,000. The limited edition mounted prints cost £75 each.
Following the exhibition it will be possible to purchase any remaining illustrations and prints through Graham’s website at www.grahamrust-murals.com.
Graham is particularly acclaimed for his mural and ceiling paintings which can be found in houses and public buildings in Britain, Europe, India, the Middle East and America. The most spectacular of these, ‘The Temptation’ is at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire and took over a decade to complete.
The Painted House, his seminal book of designs for murals was first published in 1988, The Painted Ceiling in 2001 and Revisiting the Painted House in 2005. Others, including ‘The Secret Garden’ and ‘A Little Princess’, have been published by Michael Joseph and David Godine in the US.
He has painted and drawn since childhood, always feeling that it was a natural channel for expression – an extension of self and an area of endeavor. His overwhelming desire to be his own master, free of restraint, was one of the major motivating forces which led him to pursue a career in creating beautiful images.
He has always explored different ways of painting and says that as yet he has many unfulfilled ambitions and projects – both visual and to be penned – although inevitably the outstanding acclaim that Graham Rust has gained as a botanical artist, a muralist and portrait painter continues to generate commissions in those fields.
More information from Heather Tilbury: firstname.lastname@example.org