“The birds are above, the fish are below, and we are betwixt and between.”

     – Charles van Sandwyk, Sketches from the Dream Isle of Birds.

UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections is pleased to bring you the exhibition Betwixt and Between: The Art and Influences of Charles van Sandwyk.

Born in South Africa in 1966, Charles van Sandwyk is an internationally celebrated artist and illustrator. He gathered worldwide acclaim after illustrating the 2005 edition of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows, and is the author and illustrator of several books including The Parade to Paradise, How to See Fairies and Sketches from the Dream Island of Birds.

The exhibition explores some of the connections between van Sandwyk and the artists, writers and teachers who inspired his artistic career. This is not the first time van Sandwyk has paid homage to his influences. For his 2007 publication Twenty One Years, Twenty One Prints, van Sandwyk named each limited edition book after one of his major artistic influences.

From fairies and anthropomorphized animals to detailed drawings of the natural world, van Sandwyk’s whimsical illustrations appeal to both children and adults. Indeed, there are few other artists living today who so completely inspire the inner child in grown-ups. Van Sandwyk’s study of the real and imagined, the past and present, and the young and old provide a much-needed reminder that we are all “betwixt and between.”

The exhibition is hosted in UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections, located on level one of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. The exhibition is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., from November 3 until December 17, 2011. For more information, please contact Ralph Stanton, Head of Rare Books and Special Collections, at ralph.stanton@ubc.ca.

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