In December 2015 Ballarat-based illustrator Simon Mroczkowski, also known as M-Rock has approached me and a fellow Ballarat artist Sylvia Hollis to collaborate on a book project. He was after low key studio photographs that would create a background for some of his illustrations. A year later and Simon kept his deadline and now his book & exhibition is opening on December 17th, Art Gallery of Ballarat.
This series of drawings by Simon shows twenty-six of his friends being killed off in alphabetical order. The drawings are inspired by Edward Gorey’s 1963 book The Gashlycrumb Tinies, which describes the demise of a series of unfortunate children, starting with ‘A is for Amy who fell down the stairs…’. For this series, M-Rock presents an individual verse about each of his characters, together with a drawing based on their demise.
While each of the characters, from Arkansel Fawn through to Zulland Haas, meet with a grisly end at the hands of the artist, the morbid theme has been softened by infusing the drawings with beauty and elements of nature.
Simon M-Rock’s book titled The Hangman’s Garden is launching at Ballarat Art Gallery on Saturday 17 December at 3.30pm.