I often count my blessings but most especially when I am out with my camera, or just with my eyes, transfixed by small details that others just pass by. I live with a beautiful man who hasn't a creative bone in his body and he has learnt to wander off when we are travelling, as I become transfixed by the minutia or lost in awe as I photograph old peeling paint and decay. Very often, most often, he will be ahead of me as I linger playfully with my camera, and he calls me over to an area where he says there are plenty of the patterns or marks that I love. I actually think being with an odd ball like me has opened his eyes to the visual world around him - though he would deny that! Anyway, I am very grateful to have been given these 'extra eyes' as they enrich my life. I am sure that this holds true for all creative people.
This artist's book I made after visiting an area down on the border between New South Wales and Victoria. I called the area home for about six years and had spent many many hours wandering out by the weir, a large dammed area of the Murray River. On this particular visit the area and surrounds had been affected by fire and severe drought and what was normally a vast weir, was a mere trickle of creek following the old river course. The remnants of old trees and their roots normally covered by water, were revealed - black, tortured, magnificent.
The book is a series of pen and ink, actually bamboo and stick drawings. Some of the pages are lined with transparent paper on which I have made fine markings. They overlay the drawings beneath and add another dimension.
I made a double cover for the book - one covered greyboard with one of the drawings attached front and back, and then a double hinged perspex cover actually attached to the original cover on the back only. The book itself is sewn with coptic binding.
I think the photographs speak for themselves. The drawings are very spare but to me, remind me of the time I spent wandering amidst the scorched roots. It reminds me of the desolation that was there at the time, when in happier days the hills around are lush green and the weir is huge and overflowing.
So, while the camera can do a fine job at recording what was seen, I am going to try and be more diligent about making books which reveal what was felt.