Rosanne Dingli

Rosanne Dingli

Friday, June 3, 2011

Successful Exhibition Launch for According to Luke

Yes, it has taken me a full week to recover from the excitement and energy expenditure. The launch for According to Luke was not just any other 2-hour affair. Robyn Varpins - the artist I worked with - and I, took on a full four-day event. We held an exhibition launch, with artworks taken from the narrative and rendered physical.

[Author photo by Lyn Griffiths]
This meant we attracted visitors from the literary circle and also the art world. Combining our guest lists worked, and we both benefitted. It was exhausting but fun. There was a steady trickle of visitors from the minute we opened - and even a few who came in and asked questions while ladders, cables, blu-tak and boxes were still in evidence.

Luckily, the weather was in our favour, and I cannot speak more highly about the curators of the gallery: Colour Lust Art Space and the ladies who manage it suited us down to the ground. It is impressive while staying informal - none of our visitors were daunted, and we had quite a few passers-by who popped in to have a look, and buy a book. The space is large enough for a crowd, yet intimate enough for readings. And the gilt chairs they supplied for the purpose - you must agree - were amazing.

Robyn Varpins's art  worked like magic - it was inspired and she made each piece reverential, while imbibed with a subtle air of mystery: very compatible with the narrative of the novel. According to Luke raised the curiosity of the visiting crowd, and many copies were sold over the duration of the exhibition launch. Postcards, bookmarks and my business cards disappeared, like magic. A few visitors came more than once.

I gave readings to small groups of friends, family and fans. Robyn gave a painting demonstration at her much-used easel. Because she used aged timber as a support, she had to answer a lot of questions about what she prefers to paint on. She uses canvas, of course, but also loves to paint on wood, metal and fabric - and her sculptures in raku clay attracted a lot of attention. At the end of the show, one happy buyer could walk off with the large statue he bought, not wanting to wait for a delivery.

Early next week, from 7 June, I shall post many of the paintings, pictures and other images on my website when I have processed them. I would love you all to have a look, and give me your impressions about book launches in general.

If you are a reader, how do you feel about meeting an author, having a book personally signed and helping to launch a book into the world? 

If you are an author, does it strike you as a difficult task to hold a launch? And what about linking it to physical objects, such as I have done with painting and sculpture, and collaborating with an artist?


  1. I was there, and I was impressed! Both the books (not only Rosanne's latest book, According to Luke, but also her other books were for sale), but also the artwork were very impressive and worked very well together.

  2. Sadly, Rosanne, I live in a small country town so a book launch would reach a very limited audience. But in a city? I should think it definitely worth consideration. If an author I knew and/or admired ever swung this way in the bush, I could definitely love to meet them. A few children's authors occasionally visit our local library. I'm glad to see your launch was unique and successful. Congratulations on all your effort.