Thursday, 21 November 2013

Mini Bloom Books

Linocut pages assembled to form a small Bloom book.
I made them with white and red paper.
I think the covers were inspired by the Rising sun of the Australian Diggers' badges interpreted in sculpture in the previous post.

Friday, 4 October 2013

500 Handmade Books

My copy of Lark Books 500 Handmade Books Volume 2 arrived on my doorstep this morning, and it seems to have taken a while to get here as others have posted about it weeks ago.  I've enjoyed a long browsing session and was thrilled to see the work of a number of other Australian artists I know included.  The book is well produced and enjoyable to read with all the information about the work listed under the images.
My piece Ten Books on Architecture is included in the book and I was pleased to find out that Lark had used my image as one of five used on their blog here to promote the book.
I made the third and final version of the "Ten Books" in July/August for the State Library of Queensland and this piece is now in their collection. 

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Jacaranda Time

October in Queensland is the time when the Jacaranda trees are in flower and is usually greeted with some trepidation by University students as it heralds the time when they should be studying for their final examinations.
I have the immense pleasure of living across the road from a park called Jacaranda Park.
Lots of people walk past and photograph the trees and we've seen the occasional busload of Japanese tourists stop by to photograph the beauty of it all.

It's such a joy to sit on our back deck and enjoy this view of the park

It hasn't always been so.  The parkland was originally a waterhole by a dirt road as this photo taken by my grandparents in the 1920's shows.
I think it was in the 1940's - 1950's that the Council started to fill the waterhole and finally created the parkland for the local neighbours to enjoy - especially at this time of year.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

A Bit of Bookbinding


It's the time of year when I usually do some bookbinding for the Australian Bookbinders exhibition. This book is called Pressed and contains rubbed pencil etchings of pressed flowers.  I have used a French simplified binding with leather spine and rolled leather headbands.  The cover is of Cork veneer and leather with an onlaid cut-out of vellum and rubbed pencil etchings with attached linen thread and vellum.
I have also made a bookbinding version of my Al-Mutanabbi Street Project book Absence.
It is a French simplified binding with a soft leather spine and rolled leather headbands.  Lamali paper/fabric has been used on the cover with the paper side up and the collaged strips are of Lamali with the fabric side up and with some overlaid leather strips.
I have just packaged both books up to send down to Sydney for the Australian Bookbinders Exhibition to be held in the Research Library at the Art Gallery of New South Wales from 6th November to 13th December.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

A Collaborative Book

It's a very exciting prospect to have the opportunity to work on a project with another artist whose work you really admire, so it's been a wonderful experience to work on a collaborative book with Jack Oudyn.  We had met each other last year after joining Book Art Object.
The project came about after Jack's visit to Central Australia and he felt he'd like to investigate a more sculptural approach in an artwork about Uluru.  We shared similar feelings about respecting the laws and culture of  the Aboriginal people and not climbing Uluru, but as I have not visited Uluru, Jack took responsibility for the content of the book and I played with the structure and binding.
We started out with some general ideas, neither of us pushing our own kind of work too much and seemed to be working with something that was somewhere in the middle and not really representative of our individual work.  We seemed to not be getting very far with it, so we ditched those ideas and started again.  We each produced something individually with a view to seeing if we could combine our strengths and make the piece work.
I produced a couple of different structures with folded pages and Jack produced a couple of different beautiful waxed surfaces made up of drawing, collage and painting.  Please see Jack's blog as more details will be coming about the artwork on the pages and his gorgeous painted paper covers.  The different elements from both of us seemed to fit together easily and the problems we encountered were solved, so we set to work putting the books together and made a small edition. 
 The result is Paper, Scissors, Uluru.   
'Respect our laws and culture.'
The book can be held in the hand and the pages opened out completely

or it can be displayed sculpturally, visually suggesting the glowing and changing colours of Uluru.
I designed a little slipcase for the book to slide into
A very enjoyable experience I hope we may repeat sometime in the future.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013


Bloom is a new book I've recently completed, made of ten linocuts (and one halved on each cover).  It is a sculptural interpretation of a flower in full bloom.
It will be exhibited at the Annual Artists Books exhibition at Artisan Books in Fitzroy, Melbourne
from 14th September to 12th October 2013.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The Last Chapter

The Last Chapter is a bookstore/gallery in Sheffield, UK which is featuring four artists books from the collection at Bank Street Arts in their shop window this autumn in conjunction with The Sheffield International Artists Book Prize.  The 2013 Artists Book Prize will feature over 450 artists books from all over the world. As well as this exhibition, Bank Street Arts are showcasing artists books in a number of public spaces like libraries and hotel foyers to expose artists books to a wider community.
I entered Lost in a Million Dead End Streets in the 2nd Sheffield Artists Book Prize in 2009.  It was not compulsory, but Bank Street Arts ask artists if they would be prepared to donate their book to build the collection.  I did so and now my book has been chosen to be the first one displayed at The Last Chapter.  One of the nice things about having books in collections is that other people start exhibiting your books for you and they reach a much wider audience.
I have entered one of my Book Art Object books called Unchartered Democracy
into the 2013 Sheffield Artists Book Prize which will be on display at Bank Street Arts in Sheffield from the 5th October to 30th November.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

A new home

The Libris Awards at Artspace Mackay have recently finished and I was delighted to learn that the Mackay Regional Council had decided to acquire my entry, The River City: Eyewitness Document for the collection at Artspace Mackay. 
I love it when my books don't return because they have found a new home!

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Al-Mutanabbi Street in New York

Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here is an exhibition of artists' reponses to the car bombing on 5 March 2007 of Al-Mutanabbi Street, the cultural and intellectual centre of Baghdad. Approximately 260 artists have contributed artists books to this project, and this major travelling exhibition will be on display in many countries and venues over the next few years.  The Center for Book Arts in New York have organised an exhibition of all the books to be held simultaneously over five venues for the next few months.
Centre for Book Arts, New York
Columbia University Libraries
Alwan for the Arts
International Print Centre New York
Poet's House
My book for this project Absence is included (although I do not know at which particular venue it is on display) along with the books of a number of other Australian artists - Janis Nedela, Peter Lyssiotis, Monica Oppen, Tim Mosely, Penny Peckham, Sara Bowen, Deanna Hitti, Heather Matthew, Amanda Williams, Peter Annand, Marie-Therese Wisniowski, JP Willis, and Antonietta Covino-Beehre.
You can browse the galleries of artists books in this exhibition here.
PS Thanks to Anna Mavromatis for letting me know that her book, Sara Bowen's and mine are all on exhibition at the Center for Book Arts.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

'The Collections on View' online

An installation view and an image of The Ten Books on Architecture are featured in an online guide to The Collections on View exhibition at the Pratt Institute in New York here.
I enjoyed seeing some of the diverse range of pieces in the exhibition, which included a concertina book, a silhouette pop-up book and a couple of zines as well as 2D prints.

Coincidentally, I've been very quiet as I'm working on the third and final version of this piece at the moment. 

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Catching up with some news

Vitruvius pictured above is one of the Ten Books on Architecture currently on display in the exhibition The Collections on View at the Pratt Institute Library, Brooklyn Campus, New York during May to August. 
I am very pleased that a copy of The River City: Eyewitness Document, about the 2011 flood in  Brisbane and currently on display at the Libris Awards, has been purchased by the State Library of Queensland for their collection. 
One of my Book Art Object books That Unbearable Lightness has been selected for the Artists Book Award, Books...Beyond Words - Revolution to be held at the East Gippsland Art Gallery, Bairnsdale, Victoria from 10th August to 4th September.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Impressions seven

Impress Printmakers will be holding their annual member's exhibition Impressions seven at the Metcalfe Gallery, Brisbane Institute of Art, 41 Grafton Street, Windsor, in Brisbane from the 31 May to 12 June.
The exhibition will include fine art prints, drawings and artists books.  I am a member of Impress and have used their studio facilities on the odd occasion, but haven't participated in their exhibitions before, as I don't usually make fine art prints.  However Glenda Orr rang me and invited me to submit some of my artists books this year. It is nice to be exhibiting something in Brisbane, as my work seems to travel all over the world more often.  
The three small Book Art Object books that I made last year will be on display with my book Time Travel.  A photographer from the local newspaper arrived yesterday to photograph them and I believe they will be publishing an article about the exhibition next week.
I'm actually very fond of  prints and will be on the lookout for something wonderful that I just can't bear to live without.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

2013 Libris Awards

The River City, Eyewitness Document has been selected for the Libris Awards at Artspace Mackay which will be opened on Saturday 11 May and continues until 30 June.
This book documents the 2011 flood in Brisbane.  I digitally manipulated photographs I had taken in the Yeronga/Fairfield area showing the river inundating houses and parkland, the thick residual mud, and the mud covered debris piled up on footpaths. The book is an overall expression of these heartbreaking images and of the horror experienced by the flood-affected residents.  
The long brown expanding structure of multiple concertinas sewn together, suggests the river itself and photographs of the mud and debris are contained within the structure, just as the real objects were submerged within the expanding river.  I am hoping that the book will be exhibited as I intended, as this sculptural display is part of the concept.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Augmented Reality

Earlier this year I acquired this digital pop-up book of visual poetry called Between Page and Screen by Amaranth Borsuk and Brad Bouse.  It was originally published as a letterpress artists book in an edition of 12, and then was published commercially by Siglio Press, Los Angeles in 2012.
The book is a mix of print and digital technology.  It has no words, only abstract geometric patterns and the web address which leads you to the site where you can read the book through your webcam.
When you click on Read the Book  you see yourself holding the book and the texts of the poems jump onto the screen.
You can buy the book here.
I also recently acquired an artists book by Rhonda Ayliffe called Carpe Diem which requires a smart device with a Q reader app to reveal its contents.  Check it out here.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

SLQ Artists' Books Seminar

The State Library of Queensland will be holding a free seminar on artists books on Saturday 4th May 2013 titled The Trouble with Artists' Books at the State Library of Queensland from 2 - 4.30 pm. 
The advertising for this event states:
The last two decades have seen a boom in the production of artists' books in Australia.
Join artist book maker Jan Davis, gallerist Noreen Grahame, and librarian Helen Cole as they reflect on the phenomenon of artists' books, the reason for the boom and its legacy.
The conversation will feature books from the speakers' own collections as well as examples from the State Library's outstanding artists' books collection, part of the Australian Library of Art.
If you're in Brisbane and wish to attend you need to register and get a ticket here

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Delires de Livres

The next exhibition I will be participating in is Delires de Livres 2013, a biennial exhibition organised by Am'arts in Chartres, France.  Delires de Livres  means delirious about books. I have participated once before in 2011, and I was fortunate to be on holidays in Paris at the time and was able to spend a delightful day in Chartres seeing the exhibition and meeting Chantal Leibenguth, the organiser and curator.  Chantal produces a great catalogue and artists' cards which can be purchased at the show.

The exhibition is held in the Collegiale Saint-Andre, a gorgeous old church which dates back to the 12th century.  It has been partly destroyed and rebuilt over the centuries and underwent a comprehensive restoration in 2003 as a cultural centre. 
The medieval garden has been cultivated with aromatic and medicinal herbs.
After leaving the magnificent Chartres cathedral
and walking through a gateway from the gardens
I entered a steep old street of stairs
which led down to Saint-Andre.
There is a video of the opening in 2007 which gives some idea of the wonderful interior and atmosphere of the exhibition.
One of my Book Art Object books, That Unbearable Lightness
and a 2012 version of Lost in a Million Dead End Streets
will be on display from 27th April to 19th May.
Unfortunately I am not able to attend this year, but I'm delighted to be participating.