curated by author Cristy Burne
Proudly supported by Healthway, Shire of Mundaring, City of Swan, Mundaring Community Bank® Branch of Bendigo Bank and Children's Book COUNCIL of Australia, WA Branch


Since 2005, Mundaring Arts Centre has celebrated the art of children’s book creation through heARTlines, a month-long festival of workshops, talks and demonstrations, complemented by an exhibition of original book illustrations from recently published WA children’s literature.

Displaying initial sketches and notes alongside finalised artwork and books by award winning artists Kyle Hughes-Odgers, Matt Ottley, Terry Denton, Frané Lessac, Aśka, Gabriel Evans, Chris Nixon, Kylie Howarth, Briony Stewart, Moira Court, Brian Simmonds, James Foley, Jennifer and Alexander Hills, the exhibition at Midland Junction Arts Centre explored the artistic process from idea to final product.

The 2017 event saw a 23% growth compared to 2015 with the opening night included a musical performance from WAAPA students, and addresses from local author Meg McKinlay and City of Swan Councillor, David Lucas. An education program, with concurrent workshops every Wednesday, involved students aged 5-17 from schools across the City of Swan, Shire of Mundaring and beyond.

The 75 workshops, facilitated by authors and illustrators explored storytelling, illustration, drawing, printmaking, collage and writing techniques. The festival Open Day was a highlight of the event with over 250 people taking part in workshops, free art activities and viewing the exhibition. A food van, live music and free, family friendly activities further enhanced the atmosphere and sense of community.

The exhibition, attracted around 1500 visitors, the public program enticed around 1080 people of all ages and abilities to participate in the activities and workshops including animation, portraiture, storytelling, painting and more.

Image:  Cristy Burne

Curator’s wrap up

Every time I stand in the heARTlines space, surrounded by the beauty and passion and joy of WA’s children’s book creators, I’m filled with that same passion and joy, and an itch to create and be part of the world. That feeling is contagious, and it’s free for everyone who comes through heARTLines’ doors.

I’m thrilled with how heARTlines has developed this year, from the inclusion of live music and entertainment at the well-attended opening night, to the creation of a real festival feeling at our first open day, complete with workshops, free activities, music, food and even sunshine and bubbles on the lawn.

This year the festival moved to a new venue for the first time, allowing us to run concurrent workshops and activities as well as host the exhibition in the many rooms of the refurbished Midland Junction Arts Centre.

In curating the space, we again worked to represent a range of artistic styles, of story subjects, and of creators—from internationally acclaimed artists to the self-published locals. But most of all we wanted to create something fun and inspiring, so that everyone who experienced the heARtlines festival is driven to pick up a pencil, and to begin expressing their own ideas and writing their own stories.

I’m incredibly grateful to the dedicated team at the Mundaring Arts Centre, and to Elizabeth Green-Mackinlay in particular, for their efforts in ensuring the festival was so exciting and inclusive. Thanks also to our other sponsors, the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s WA Branch, the Mundaring Community branch of the Bendigo Bank, the Shire of Mundaring, the City of Swan and the Department of Culture and the Arts.

Cristy Burne