Eastern Cape artist Richard Latimer will launch his children’s book “The Rainbow’s Heart”, with an exhibition, at David Krut Projects at the Montebello Design Centre in Newlands, Cape Town on Saturday 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. The book launch and exhibition will take place 4 June 2016 at 11am; at David Krut Projects, Montebello Design Centre, 31 Newlands Avenue, Cape Town; with Latimer in attendance. The launch will be accompanied by an exhibition featuring illustrations from the book. Entrance is free and refreshments will be served. RSVP to email@example.com