# 40913

SIBLEY, Irena (1943-2009)


$5,500.00 AUD

Albert Park, Vic. : Lilly Pilly Books, 1988. Second edition. Folio, bound by Richard Griffin in contrasting red and yellow embossed morocco, with inset linoleum block print to upper board, red endpapers; [42] pp of linoleum block-print plates and calligraphic text (calligraphy by Irene Sibley); all edges uncut, in fine condition.

“67 copies of ‘Rainbow’ were first published by Richard Griffin in 1980. This second edition contains 35 prints, 17 of these are from the original book. This edition is hand printed, hand coloured and scripted by the artist and is limited to six numbered copies and one working proof copy’ – the handwritten colophon. This is copy number 5/6 and signed by Arena Sibley, dated 1988.

Lithuanian-born Melbourne artist and conservationist Irena Sibley’s superbly illustrated book tells the story of Rainbow, doll from Lithuania who arrives in Australia and is treated with xenophobic distrust from the other dolls. As well as being a magnificently illustrated children’s book and livre d’artiste, Rainbow is also a poignant reflection of Sibley’s own experience as a post-war migrant attempting to fit into to Australian society. 

Born Irena Justina Pauliukonis, ‘her mother Anele and father Zenonas Pauliukonis fled communist-occupied Lithuania in 1946 when Irena was a baby. The Pauliukonis family immigrated to Australia via refugee camps in Freiburg, Germany, where her brother Vidas was born, and Naples, Italy. The family arrived in Sydney, Australia on 31 December 1949 and settled in Bathurst, before establishing their family home in Cabramatta in Sydney’s western suburbs … Sibley has published over a dozen children’s books, six handmade limited-edition books, and many bookplates for private collectors. Her artwork employs a range of techniques, including hand-coloured linocuts, scratchboard, and, later in her career, acrylic painting. Stylistically, her work can reflect Eastern European printmaking traditions, as well as contemporary representations of Australia’s natural environment.’ (Wikipedia).

Copies of this second edition are held in the State Library of New South Wales and State Library of Queensland.