Dame Lynley Dodd’s name is associated with Hairy Maclary and his gang of canine friends, but this exhibition goes some way to showcase her other characters. For instance, have you met Sam Jam Balu or the Dudgeon?
The exhibition is curated around 11 of Dodd’s characters, the familiar and not so familiar, mapping how this New Zealand artist and writer became a household name and international success. It is also Dodd’s story of how she became an illustrator and writer.
Millions of copies of Dodd’s books have sold, with many being translated into several languages. Both children and adults alike love Dodd’s work; exquisite illustrations and clever rhymes coupled with simple, yet realistic, stories make Dodd’s books timeless. Dodd’s use of language is sophisticated and rhythmical, making her books a pleasure to read aloud. A couple of generations have now grown up with her books since she published her very first book, The Nickle Nackle Tree in 1976.
Exhibition curator, Penelope Jackson, notes that Dodd has kept her entire life’s work and it was a difficult task to choose the works selected but hopes it will demonstrate to visitors the wide range of Dodd’s work as well as giving visitors the chance to see the very first drawing ever of Hairy Maclary.
The process of publishing and printing may have changed but the very core of her work – delightful stories – has not changed over the decades. Dodd illustrates without the use of a computer, taking up to a year to complete a book, working from her home in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.
The Lynley Dodd Story comprises all original artwork including many watercolour paintings.