Friday, 18 May 2018

20/52 'posted' .....








About five years ago my children visited Japan together, skiing I think, and Tim actually  came home with  a  number  of  perspex  boxes for me  which  he  had  purchased.   One of  them was/is  a  4 x 4 compartment box allowing for sixteen books to be displayed.  I have been waiting since then to come up  with  an idea  to  fill those spaces  and now that I am at week 20 of my 52  week  project,  I  have decided that sixteen of my books can be housed in this perspex framework.  


This is the first of those 16 to be housed (in fact it may be more as I may add multiples of books at a time) in this way.  I am anticipating that most of these books will be sculptural, or at the very least photograph worthy and not necessarily have artistic content inside the book.  This is quite rare for me as I have always used the 'book' as a vehicle for my artwork.





The book was made using cut down postcards with a simple coptic binding.  It is quite lovely to handle as it is small and fluid in the hand though I think that the photographs do it more justice than it deserves.











Monday, 14 May 2018

19/52 'sea urchins' - echinocorys .....



I confess that this 'book' is really just a drawing I was experimenting with in order to plan and prepare for a couple of large drawings in a similar vein.  I have finished one of the large ones - 1300mm x 720mm - but actually reduced the amount of defined detail as I didn't really like having such realistic work.

This smaller piece works quite well folded as a book as I can contain what I now see as 'realism' between the covers and only peep when necessary.  For years I have enjoyed making marks and suggesting, often obscurely, my work rather than making my drawing representational.  This means that very often no one understands my work even if they love it ..... hence my decision to introduce an element of realism back into my work.  I will actually post on these large drawings I am doing at a later point, but let me say now that I was really unhappy to actually see or recognise in my drawing, that which I was drawing!  Not sure that makes any sense other than to me.  As here in this book you can see the sea urchins even though they are not drawn in great detail - I find myself alienated from this work, enjoying the areas where I have not defined the subject far more so than the objects I have drawn. Blah!  A whole lot about nothing really.








I prefer suggestive work and some of these smaller snippets of photos, especially photographed from the backside of the film, to see are way more interesting that the drawing as a whole.







Thursday, 3 May 2018

18/52 'counting letters' .....



Some books are all about the content and some are really all about the photographs.  This book falls into the latter category - I had such fun playing with the photos and think many of the images are more satisfactory than the actual book.

This book was begun about four years ago when I was taking part in Fiona Dempster's project 'A Letter a Week' - which meant that participating artists produced two alphabet books each year.  I think I made three and this, the fourth, sat half finished until now.  It gave me great joy to complete this book which was actually the first book or artwork in which I used my father's old letraset.  No one knew this of course as the book had been sitting on my desk alongside many other unfinished bits and pieces.  

There is not much to say about the book other than it was designed to have a slow reveal of the letters.  When the cover is opened you can only see three of the letters - 'a', 'g' and 'z'.  I have always enjoyed making books with this slow reveal.

The dimensions of the book are 420mm x 220mm which makes it the largest of the eighteen books I have made thus far in 2018.  Can't believe eighteen weeks have slipped by already.

































Wednesday, 25 April 2018

17/52 'fallen poppies' - lest we forget .....


They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning
We shall remember them.
LEST WE FORGET.


Today is ANZAC day here in Australia - a day when we come out in force to remember and be thankful for those men and women from Australia and New Zealand who 'served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations'.  Originally Anzac Day was a day to honour the soldiers who fought at Gallipoli against the Ottoman Empire during WW1.  The attack lasted eight months and over 56,000 Allies died.





This book is rather soft and poignant - quite a contrast to my book last week.  Once again I have used and re worked a page from my 'Pieces for Peace 14-18' book which was exhibited in Brussels.  These covers were made from poppies I cut out from another print and they are encased in transparent film to protect the 'fallen poppies'.



Saturday, 21 April 2018

16/52 'war package' .....


This little book is made from one of the pages I made for the 'Pieces for Peace' exhibition in Brussels in 2014 though it is completely reworked into a small folded format.  I  made a little box for the book and realised that although it housed a rather dramatic little book, the cover itself looked quite 'pretty'. This led me to start thinking about how war is often packaged in different ways, presented to us in different guises, concealed, ignored even tolerated.  Expected.



I rarely visit this arena in my artwork as it makes me so irate and then I become artistically crippled.  I do so admire people who can tackle weighty issues in their artwork, and in their writing .... my comfort is back in the landscape where I find nature heals all wounds and restores us.


Anzac Day is next week and at this time of year I find myself thinking about all our men and women who have lost lives through war.  Then I begin to think about all those who have lost lives in their own homes as part of domestic violence.  How can we hope for peace in the world when there is so much violence close to home.  Dismal thoughts ..... and this is why I usually avoid making this sort of book.



The imagery really speaks for itself.  Death and crosses.  Row upon row.  More on this next week!




Saturday, 14 April 2018

15/52 'deep connections' .....



When thinking about the making of this book about connections I was thinking about threads and the Chinese thought that those who are destined to meet are connected by a red thread.  For me though, I feel like deep connections are more like bundles - concepts with more substance and weight.  

I think those bundles are filled with stories or our lives, those things that are most important to us or impact on us, a bundle full of emotions that are revealed over time, often just fragments of tales rather than the whole.  A complex weighty mix that connects two people.

I am sure I could work with greater depth on this subject but once again, time has been short this week and so though a book is made  an idea is created for exploration at a later date.  Maybe.



This book reads in both directions - I drew it in one way, and then when I stuck the ends down into the fold back covers from the accordion below, I embossed my mark on the end page before realising that I had the work upside down.  I actually like it both ways so have embossed my mark on both ends.  Simple solution.


Some books are just fun to play with and to photograph.  This is one of those where shadows and light play powerfully with the negative space.  I decided against sewing the two concertina layers together which means when the book is upright, you can 'read' the back of the page as well.  The background is an engraving print which I often use in this manner - as a layer upon which to build.  The artwork as such was done with French Conte crayon which is deliciously creamy and can be worked from rich darks to translucent.

The soft creamy yellow is from the lighting and not part of my work but it reminds me very much of Rosemary Gascoyne's pallet and is inspiring me to intentionally introduce some of this soft yellow to my work.