Eastern Cape artist Richard Latimer launched his children’s book “The Rainbow’s Heart”, with an exhibition, at David Krut Projects on 4 June 2016. The story follows the adventures of cousins Dusty Rhodes and Bob Wyre, who are asked to save a mysterious colony of bees. To do so, they must follow a honeyguide across Africa, through border posts and foul weather, all the way to the Rainbow’s Heart.
Based on author and illustrator Latimer’s own single-vehicle trip to the Tsodilo Hills in Botswana in the late 1970’s, it evokes a spirit of adventure reminiscent of a bygone era. Accompanying each page of the tale are his extraordinary illustrations – filled with vibrant colours and levels of detail that offer entire stories in themselves, and will provide hours of exploratory delight for parents and children alike.
The book was originally published in 1982 by Jonathan Ball Publishers for the author’s three young sons; who now all have their own children, to whom the republished book is dedicated. Latimer explains that his youngest son Alex– himself a widely-published author and illustrator of children’s books – had suggested that the original “Expedition to the Rainbow’s Heart”be revisited. This was confirmed through meeting publisher Robin Stuart-Clark of Bumble Books, who was struck by the illustrations in particular, and agreed that,“It seemed the timing was right,in terms of the greater awareness in the world around environmental issues generally, and specifically that bees are becoming more and more endangered.”
Accompanying the book launch, will be an exhibition of six digitally remastered prints,shown alongside the full complement of original 1970’s ink watercolour works. Jacqueline Flint of David Krut Projects explains, “We feel quite privileged to be able to present this exhibition. The original works are made using fugitive ink, and have not seen light of day for nearly forty years for good reason – and yet have been so well stored that they’re still in incredible condition, and the images pop off the page in quite a spectacular fashion!”Speaking to David Krut Projects’ particular interest in the combination of prints, paper and publishing, and the synergy with this showcase, she elaborates, “Although the original works are from decades ago, the designs are as current as if they were made yesterday, reinforced by their contemporary treatment; we see this as a ‘late debut’ of the work”. The exhibition will only be up for two weeks, so as to protect the images from exposure to light damage.
Stuart-Clark is cognizant that “South Africa is a country where for most people, a book is a luxury”; and is therefore thrilled that – even before the book had been printed locally – it had been picked up by a Japanese publisher, to be distributed into an extensive network of libraries abroad. He says that, “It’s wonderful to be able to contribute not only so colourful and beautiful a book, but also so wonderful a story; and more importantly, a different view of Africa to that which is often told!”
“The Rainbow’s Heart” is written and illustrated by Richard Latimer and published by Bumble Books.
About Richard Latimer:
Dick Latimer is an artist and writer living in South Africa; who practiced architecture for a number of years. If he is not creating a wooden African-centric globe in his studio, you might find him crafting an installment of his latest book, making wood cuts or detailing the wings of a bee in pen and ink. He has published a picture-driven children’s book and his sculptures adorn the frontage of local government buildings. His artwork has been commissioned by corporates, galleries and individuals; and in some cases, even turned into tattoos.www.dicklatimer.com
About Bumble Books:
The Rainbow’s Heart is published by award-winning Bumble Books, an imprint of Publishing Print Matters, and recently named Africa’s Best Children’s Publisher at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy. Publishing Print Matters produces books on South African art, craft and heritage with a particular focus on those artists, craftspeople and individuals who have been overlooked yet made an impact on South African culture. Founder and Director Robin Stuart-Clark believes that these people have stories to tell and vision to share that can empower our youth and restore pride in our collective heritage.www.printmatters.co.za
Bumble Books are distributed in South Africa by Jacana Media (Pty) Ltd.
David Krut Projects:
David Krut Projects Cape Town is a gallery and print room associated with David Krut Projects, in Johannesburg and New York. Situated at the Montebello Design Centre in Newlands, David Krut Projects Cape Town is dedicated to promoting contemporary art in a dynamic and collaborative environment. The galleries showcase prints and editions from the David Krut Print Workshop (DKW), Johannesburg, by leading and emerging South African artists. In addition to this we exhibit work in a variety of media by artists represented by David Krut. Secondary material by established local and international artists is also available from the gallery. Our specialist bookstore stocks monographs on local and international artists, titles from David Krut Publishing, publications on William Kentridge, and a wide range of art and design reference material.www.davidkrut.com
Article by Beryl Eichenberger on behalf of Print Matters