Friday, 30 January 2015

The Book is Out!

Wow, it's finally happened after all those years of research on my part and writing on my husband Ross Davies part, that his new book Three Brilliant Careers. Nell Malone, Miles Franklin, Kath Ussher has been published by Boolarong Press in Brisbane and is now available.

I share the same name with my great aunt Nell, we are both Helen Frances Malone, and what a role model she would have been when I was young.  Unfortunately I discovered her story only about five years ago, and why my father gave me her name.  What an inspiring and great story it is.

The blurb on the back of the book says

Three Brilliant Careers reveals the previously untold story of celebrated author Miles Franklin and two lifelong Australian friends, Nell Malone and Kath Ussher, who met in Chicago in 1914 and reunited a year later in war torn London.
Despite facing enormous risks, the women subsequently travelled to the Balkans with the Scottish Women's Hospitals and served in frontline medical units attached to the French and Serbian Armies.
After the war, Miles settled in London, Kath in Hollywood and Nell in Paris, but maintained their friendship through regular correspondence.  All three achieved distinction in their chosen fields, although not without encountering significant obstacles in their path.
Bridging four decades across several continents, Three Brilliant Careers follows the remarkable lives of the friends, and explores their crossed destinies to tell an inspirational story of Australia's early feminists.

My son Tristan Davies has made a video book trailer which has been uploaded
to You Tube.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Back to the Front

Well it is back to the front again with the completion of this artists book that I started in 2014.  I made a bookbinding version of this book with text called Si Vis Pacem which has been exhibited twice and I wanted to make a more visual book on the subject as well.

I ended up making four copies of this book, and with the three bookbinding type books, it amounted to a lot of drawing of white crosses.  I almost felt like I'd drawn enough crosses to cover the number of dead on the Western front.

Like the first book, the idea behind the book is that of time travel, back to the Western Front in France.  Photos of real battlefields I had taken in France were transformed by digital manipulation into the dark deathly landscapes of the war.  Drawings of crosses as symbols of the dead were added in white charcoal for the viewer to reflect on the price that had to be paid for peace.  Like the first book, I collaged a leather landscape to the cover with white foil tooling of crosses.

Each of the four books has a designated exhibition to go to this year, and the first one has been sent off to Western Australia and will be exhibited in 'Between the Sheets' at the Central Gallery, Central Institute of Technology, 12 Aberdeen Street, Perth WA from the 6th March to 2nd April 2015.
Other books are going to Caloundra Regional Gallery for "Of War and Peace, Anzac Centenary Commemoration Exhibition from 25th March to 10th May, Personal Histories Exhibition at Redland Art Gallery, Cleveland from 29th March to 10th May, and the fourth one will be going to France.

It was great to get work that had been hanging over from 2014 finished and I've made a great start to 2015 with a number of pieces for other exhibitions coming up this year - more soon!