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. 

Wednesday, 3 April 2013


On March 5 2007 a car bomb exploded on al-Mutanabbi Street, the street of booksellers in Baghdad and the cultural centre for the literary and intellectual community.  Thirty people were killed and one hundred wounded.  This attack on writers and booksellers compelled San Francisco bookseller, Beau Beausoleil to show an expression of solidarity with the formation of art and writing project Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here. 
 I joined the project at the beginning of this year after seeing a call for 15 book artists on Sarah Bodman's Book Arts site.  The number of artists books in the project was to be 260, double the number of casualties and the 15 new artists were called to replace others who had dropped out.  Three books had to be sent to Sarah Bodman by April 30, as the worldwide exhibitions have already commenced.  It is planned to have an exhibition in the National Library of Baghdad and a full set of the books will be donated to the National Library's collection. On both the above mentioned sites you can find more details about the project and see the books. 
It was not an easy task to look at all the books already submitted and to create something original within the guidelines.  My first idea had already been used by a couple of other people in different ways, and I was not happy with using it yet again.
I came up with another idea to reflect on absence and loss using a mathematical infinity tiling pattern as a metaphor for the intellectual community and Islamic culture, and to act as a map of the district, and was pleased that this idea did not appear to have been used. 
 These tiling patterns have been used since medieval times on architectural surfaces and in book illumination. So I started work on Absence and made an edition of 6 books.
The book contains inkjet prints of drawings on Fabriano Artistico paper with gouache painting added later.  The French simplified binding is of Lamali paper/fabric with a soft leather spine and a collaged fragment of calfskin vellum. 
I intended the book to express hope for the future with the return of the normal patterns of cultural and intellectual life.