These tried and tested activities come highly recommended from our staff for keeping yourself busy. Bake some bread, play a game, convene with oracles or delve into some arts and crafts.
Complete your activities collection today.
How to raise a loaf and fall in love with sourdough
By Roly Allen
How To Raise A Loaf is your go-to guide for making sourdough. Let bread-master Roly Allen run you through the key techniques of traditional baking, creating a living starter, and mastering a crusty loaf.
By Katya Tylevich. Illustrations by Mikkel Sommer Christensen.
Are you suffering from creative block? Struggling to make a difficult life decision? Art Oracles is here for you. Find out what Picasso, Pollock, Kahlo and other great artists would have done with this set of fifty oracle cards.
Like so many throughout the world, our team is working from home. Some of us are surrounded by plants, some by arts and crafts, all of us by books. We love seeing the ways people are making new workspaces at home and we wanted to share some of ours with you.
Michelle Brasington | Publicity Manager
Here is my workspace. I have a lot of light streaming in through the kitchen window in the mornings and it prompts me to get the dishes done before I start work!
This ode to plants reconnects me to nature making me feel relaxed and comforted. I am working my way through Erin’s recipes for teas and my favourite so far is the ‘daily multi’ which ispacked with nutritional goodies.
This is definitely an aspirational book for me! I find it fascinating how these bespoke pieces of furniture and lighting have found their home and fit so well in these stunning architecturally designed houses.
My co-worker, Charlie the whippet, is probably the most stylish part of my home! I love all dogs, but there’s a special place in my heart for whippets. She’s a good listener and never argues when I talk to her. All she wants is a pat and a dog biscuit!
Jackie Money | Marketing Manager
Firstly, these pictures of my house are entirely misleading, because I could never keep it so clean. Thank you to this content piece for making me tidy up. Secondly, welcome to my (working from) home.
My desk gets some lovely afternoon sunshine, making a great natural filter for video meetings. I keep that pile of work books on the chair next to me for easy reference, and art supplies at the ready for my lunch break.
When the sun gets a bit much, I can retreat to my bedroom where the bookshelves live. The books which don’t fit there have to live in piles stashed around the apartment. That doesn’t mean I love them any less than the bookshelf ones, but it does mean I have more books than I have proper places to put them.
Lately, I’ve been pouring over The Flower Expert by Fleur McHarg. The only flower I could identify before reading this book was a sunflower, and now I can tell you what a rose looks like. Maybe even a daisy. It has so many brilliant tips on arranging flowers, like what colours to put together and how much green stuff (ie. foliage) to use. If you’re a flower novice like me, or a master like Fleur, this book will bring you pure, colourful joy.
Lisa Schuurman | Editorial Assistant
Here is my work from home desk. I’ve retreated to my parents’ house on the Mornington Peninsula for some fresh air and space while self-isolating. Currently half my desk is my mum’s sewing area and the other half is taken up by my computer, books, flowers from the garden and quite often Pepper, my dog. She has a habit of sitting in my chair but most of the time she’s under the desk trying to nibble my toes.
I am one of those messy people who will tell you everything is organised, which is half true, but I definitely try to squish everything in wherever I can. The bookcase includes: some of my favourite THA books, a lot of YA from when I ran an online book club, a yellow duck, a fifteen-year-old lucky horse shoe with my name stamped into it, my favourite vinyl records, a small snow globe of a sheep from NZ and one of my favourite postcards that says ‘de wereld is mooier met jou’ which translates from Dutch to ‘the world is more beautiful with you’.
To match my slightly chaotic shelves, I am also a messy reader. I start multiple books and never finish them, don’t read for many months and then I’ll end up reading multiple books at a time. One book I haven’t put down is Portraits Destroyed by Julie Cotter. I started at THA just when we were beginning to work on the book but I never got a chance to read it until now. Julie Cotter has such great insight into the fascinating world of portraits and the role they play in history. You also can’t deny the power of a great pic section in bringing the words to life.
Classic bingo with a jungle twist! Play along with the blue Ulysses butterfly and the inedible tomato frog, along with many other exotic jungle creatures. Easy to play and simply delightful, for all animal-loving children and adults.
Jungle Bingo, illustrated by Caroline Selmes. Published by Laurence King Publishing.
Build Your Own Mars Colony is a pop-out assembly set, no scissors or glue necessary. Set up your own rockets, astronauts, robots and hover craft. Heck, name your space cat Major Tom and enjoy hours of extraterrestrial fun.
300 sea creatures are hiding on this game board – can you be the first to spot the clown fish or the killer whale? The rules are simple: take a creature token from the box and show it to the group. The first to spot the creature on the big board, wins the token. The one with the most tokens, wins!
All you need to know to become the ultimate superhero! Featuring 20 activities and a sticker sheet, this colourful activity book reveals superhero secrets like how to make yourself invisible, and handy tips from finding your superhero name to designing your costume.
The Superhero Handbook, text and illustrations by James Doyle and Jason Ford. Published by Laurence King Publishing.
This book is packed with more stickers you can shake a tail feather at (over 200!) and glorious activities to stick them on. Design a hoopoe’s crown, stick the right egg in its nest and play blackbird bingo in this beautifully designed sticker activity book.
Playful, vibrant and bold, Ken Done’s artwork is truly one-of-a-kind. In the Ken Done: Painting Australia series, Ken captures his love of the Australian landscape, from the joyful shout of Sydney and the Aussie Beach to the calm beauty of the Outback and Reef.
Scroll through some selections of Ken’s work below, carefully curated from each book and accompanied by his charming commentary.
Story by Jackie Money
“The world-famous musician James Morrison is an old friend. He once released an album of music inspired by a number of my paintings. In one song he gave a musical notation to the way I had placed my drawings of yachts in this work, The Wednesday Race. Who could ask for more?”
– Ken Done
“This work was one of a number I showed in my first exhibition in Paris. The picture of the sunbaker by the famous Australian photographer Max Dupain is one of our most revered images. I’ve made numerous paintings using the iconic form as a graphic device, always with reverence and respect.”
– Ken Done
“When I look at the Outback, I often think of Sidney Nolan. One of our most influential artists, I was lucky enough to meet and talk with him a couple of times. For me, he will always be the Kelly figure looking at the landscape.”
– Ken Done
“A jelly and a fish. Then a jellyfish. Lots of things you find in the sea. This painting, now in a big Japanese collection, is fun. Some images are tight, and some I’ve played games with. Being underwater should always be fun.”
As part of NGV’s Melbourne Art Book Fair, taking place from 13 – 15 March, this prize is a celebration of art book publishing and supports innovation in the field. We are honoured to have our books shortlisted in such an important initiative.
Read on for a glimpse into these stunning shortlisted books.
Hannah Lewi and Philip Goad | Book design: Stuart Geddes
The essential text on Australian modernism with rich archival imagery and expert essays on how modernism has shaped Australian society.
The Sydney Opera House under construction, 1974-75. Photograph: Michael Lewi.
Capitol Theatre, Melbourne, VIC, 1921-25. Architect: The Office of Walter Burley Griffin and Peck & Kempter. Photograph: Walter Burley Griffin, 1939. Pictures Collection, State Library of Victoria, H2009.21/73.
STEP INTO PARADISE
Jenny Kee AO and Linda Jackson AO | Book design: Daniel New
The compelling stories of iconic designers Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson, creators of a bold and unashamedly Australian fashion identity.
Jenny and Linda wearing Linda’s Tutti Frutti and Love Letters outfits, cotton, Bondi, 1975. Photograph: Annie Noon, Linda Jackson archive, MAAS Collection.
Models Micki and Gerlindé wearing Jenny’s knitwear, cotton, with handpainted straw hats, Palm Beach, NSW, 1979. Photograph: Linda Jackson, Linda Jackson archive, MAAS collection.
HARRY SEIDLER’S UMBRELLA
Joe Rollo | Book design: Garry Emery
An incisive and personal collection of writings on
architecture and design, offering an exciting way of looking at the built
Hamer Hall: Melbourne VIC. Photograph: John Gollings