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I N  T H E  M A G I C I A N 'S  G A R D E N 

O T H E R  S T O R I E S 

By Niki Daly

"I have always loved stories.  And as far as I remember,  I have always drawn pictures. So, it's perhaps fated that I should become a picture book artist and writer of stories.  Indeed, I cannot draw without my pictures telling a story.  So I give them titles - 'In the Magician's garden and other Stories' - titles that come to me in a flash, and characters who after I name them become as real to me as any person I know. 

To make my pictures, I draw in pen and ink then shade and colour using watercolour.  It's an unforgiving medium that does not allow for mistakes; indeed, I liken it to walking on a wire, where you cannot put a foot wrong if you do not wish to fall or fail.

 Several years ago, I met Kyoko Kimura, an origami artist, who reignited a childhood love for folding paper. The tradition of  Origami follows certain principles - starting with a square piece of paper, which is folded  (never cut nor glued and NEVER drawn on) until it creates forms  and structures.  This is pure Origami.   I learned and followed these principles for many hours, days, months and years.  However,  my natural urge to create character and story soon had me breaking rules - I folded, I cut, I painted and glued.  Thus, creating my own form, which Kyoko humorously labelled 'NikiGami'.

With 'In the Magician's Garden and Other Stories', I have combined NikiGami with watercolours when a story suggests I do so.  Creating something out of nothing is an act of magic - that's if,  a blank piece of paper can be considered as being 'close to nothing'.  Most artists feel this, I believe.

So,  I invite you into my magic garden which Michael Chandler has beautifully curated on a wall in Chandler House.   I hope you will enjoy the stories you may find in each picture."

Niki Daly
Kleinmond, 21 November 2018   

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