I have always believed that motion picture and television production “prop makers” and “set designers” to be, unsung artists. Moreover, their artistic talent or contribution will always be somewhat constrained in order to fit within the parameters set by production. I believe lines blur when real “commissioned” art is used as a production prop. Is there a distinction when real art becomes “reel” art?
“Set Dec” Treasures
In 2017, I attended a set decoration “wrap” liquidation sale for the thirteen-part television series “Grace Beside Me” (2018). A fantasy drama based on the book by Sue McPherson. Knowing very little about the production (after all it wouldn’t premiere until 16 February 2018 on NITV), the premise intrigued me. Having a daughter around the same age as the principal characters, my family were eagerly looking forward to the series. We weren’t disappointed. The show was absolutely wonderful!
I strongly urge families to track it down and please watch it as a family. The series was deservedly nominated for (and won) many awards.
After the show’s debut on NITV, it later premiered on the ABC (Australia) on 8 July 2018 and later on the Disney Channel in March 2019.
I headed off to the wrap sale with my daughter (who shares my love of production used props & wardrobe).
She was excited at the prospect of picking up a number of cast worn wardrobe pieces.
If I’m completely honest with you, not only do set dec sales offer some amazing collectables for film & TV memorabilia fans, they also offer a terrific way of picking up clothing/shoes & accessory bargains too!
The items are usually of good quality and have often been worn just long enough to get a good “take”! But that’s a whole other post!
Anyway, my daughter scored a number of wardrobe items and I grabbed some interesting pieces.
One of the joys (for me at least) of purchasing props and set decoration from “wrap” sales prior to a production’s release, is the thrill of later identifying & screen matching those pieces when finally viewing the show.
Every now and then with this hobby, there comes along a magical piece that transcends that item’s status as a production prop!
My Luke Mallie original acrylic on canvas screen used painting of “Aunty Min” played by Roxanne McDonald in the series is one such piece.
I eagerly snapped it up with our other treasures on the day of the sale.
I fell in love with this the first time I saw it! Remember, I had no idea in what context they used this in the show! But I found the colour, vibrancy, youthful spirit and sense of fun depicted in this work so enticing.
As I discovered after viewing the series, Luke Mallie’s painting perfectly captured the personality and character of “Aunty Min”.
Brief But Lasting
As often happens with props, the painting only featured in the series for a split second. I won’t spoil it by telling you where. Anyway, I’m happy to say “Aunty Min” has been gracing my office wall for three years. Just like her character, she is totally unique, helps keep me positive, focussed and above all, makes me smile!
If you haven’t yet caught “Grace Beside Me”, please make sure you do! Check out Sue McPherson’s book on Amazon.
Please have a look at artist Luke Mallie‘s amazing work.
You can check out some of my “Grace Beside Me” pieces on my “YourProps” page.
Want some hints & tips on collecting motion picture & television props & memorabilia? Why not check out my guides!