Saturday, October 24, 2009

meroogal video

for the truly enthusiastic - the lovely folk of the HHT have released a rather comprehensive (read looooong) video of awarded artists from this years Meroogal award - you can check it out here..... (I'm the second artist to talk - and my chat was recorded in front of an audience - not to camera - so I look a bit shifty!)

and whilst I'm bravely owning up to it - I discovered the 2007 Meroogal video that I'm also in (this video is only short - so I almost survived the wave of EEEEGAD when I've viewed myself...)

you'll find that video here...

enjoy (have a good laugh!)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

a book of hours of sorts...

I've just finished another booky object – this time it's a simple concertina arrangement (with 12 pages)

well simple in form does not necessarily mean simple in the making... this one had me tearing my hair out!

The idea was simple enough – 12 pages for 12 photos taken of my work Ex libris (installed on the property on the site of a vanished school – just a few hundreds metres from the house and studio here at sams creek)

Ex Libris (9am)

I took a picture of the work on the hour – every hour - from dawn to dusk... and decided I would create a book from the photos of my books - as a sort of secular book of hours (in fact I'm titling the piece 'hora libri' which can be interpreted as 'hour book' or 'book of hours')

for the uninitiated – Books of Hours were personal prayerbooks of the devout and status-conscious society of the late medieval/early renaissance era – the most stunning examples included lavishly painted miniatures, exquisite calligraphy with illuminated capitals executed on vellum – the covers of some had precious gems embedded – all very bling bling!

(A great resource to read/see more about them is the John Hartman volume 'Books of Hours')

I played around with quite a few ideas for my 'book of hours' but concertina offered the best solution – this format offered a linear arrangement for my photos – and by choosing robust materials I envisaged that the piece may be displayed open – and upright – without support

and so off I set to making the piece

I've utilised old encyclopaedia covers (left over from making serpens volumen) to give the piece rigidity, covered with waxed buckram (all one piece – the hinges are integrated) – getting the very long single piece of buckram attached and smooth and lovely was EEEEEKKKK – and of course I forgot to put the internal buckram pieces on for the hinges before I attached the external cover (of course!) EEEEEEKKKK!! (note to reader – this is NOT the actual words uttered at the time.... I've given you the cleaned up family version of what was uttered) - so of course I had to gingerly remove the turn-over, quickly paste in the inner buckram hinges, then re-paste the covers and re-work.... (those corners were hard enough the first time around!)

finally it was looking good

On the inside of the structure I've used some of last years 'network' ink drawings – which work surprisingly well with the content and colours – and on top of these are the individual photos.

The piece stands wonderfully well without support (success!)

I like it arranged as a star – so that the circularity as opposed to linear nature of time is hinted at.

I'm planning on making another 2 concertina 'hora libri' – so that there's an edition of 3 - but I suspect each in the edition will be a bit different...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

serpens volumen - arcus pluvius

Yesterday I completed the second very long coptic bound book's that I've now titled 'serpens volumen' - the serpent book...

This one is is a few centimetres shorter than the first serpens volumen - it's 2.25m long (or a bit over 7ft) and has been constructed from pages of Encyclopaedia Brittanica Science Year books from the early 1980s (which not coincidentally was also my high school years)

This one is called 'serpens volumen - arcus pluvius' - or the rainbow serpent book - and I think it should be pretty obvious why it carries that name... the pages of the book have been arranged according to spine fold colours - and it's quite amazing (and often a surprise) what a delightful array of colours turn up when you slice and fold about 5 encyclopaedic volumes

as in the first 'serpens volumen', each section of the book has been created from a single page of from the year books - and again I went through almost an entire 100m roll of waxed lined thread (I also broke the eye of one of my bookbinding needles... ) I think it took me almost as long to arrange the pages as it did to bind this creature.

Its quite an unwieldy beast to pick up, carry and arrange - but also so satifying to try it out in numerous arrangements - the rainbow spine really makes for a very different look to the first book - and I can't wait to try them out together in a space....

Saturday, October 10, 2009

alphabet labyrinth soup

I love getting up very early in the morning - just before dawn is my favourite part of the day. With two young kidlins, the farm and garden, work and arty commitments it's the only real 'me' time I have, so I love to grab a cup of milk coffee settle back in bed for a few peaceful precious minutes of reading.

This morning I picked up 'The Alphabetic Labyrinth - the Letters in History and Imagination' by Johanna Drucker and on one of the opening pages was this quote from Henry Noel Humphreys:

" From the invention of letters the machinations of the human heart began to operate; falsity and error daily increased; litigation and prisons had their beginnings, as also specious and artful language, which causes so much confusion in the world. It was on these accounts that the shades of the departed wept at night. But, on the other hand, from the invention of letters all polite intercourse and music proceeded and reason and justice were made manifest; the relations of life were defined, and laws were fixed; governors had a lasting rule to refer to; scholars had authorities to venerate; the historian, the mathmetician, the astronomer, can do nothing without letters. Were there not letters to give proof of passing events, the shades might weep at nooday as well as night and the heavens rain down blood, for tradition might affirm what she pleased, so that the letters have done much more good than evil; and as a token of good, heaven rained down ripe grain the day that they were first invented."

from 'The Origin and Progress of the Art of Writing'
Henry Noel Humphreys

Isn't that just a magic statement to start the day with.....

Saturday, October 3, 2009

meroogal at spiral

As I headed into Bega last night for the opening of the Meroogal Exhibition at Spiral a light drizzle started to fall - and gardener/farmer that I am my spirits began to lift markedly!

(there's my piece 'Fahrenheit 451' by the door - offering a warm entry)

Spiral is quite a small space - so hanging even a small selection of works from the Meroogal Womens Art Award is a big challenge. Most of the works selected to show at Spiral were prize winning pieces and/or works by local artists. The exhibition was opened by local artist Veronica O'Leary with help from Spiral Gallery's indominable Anna Senior (that's her below in the background with magnificent red vest.... interesting outfits are the norm from Anna - before her time here in the valley Anna worked in costumes on films like 'My Brilliant Career' .... and I think she's rather brilliant herself!)

I enjoyed this pared down selection of work - and seeing work by the fellow local artists - the lovely b&w concertina booklet below is by Madeline Meyer one of the 23 local artists selected for the inital exhibition at Shoalhaven (I've been reliably told that Madeline's works has been selected for the full tour... from the tale told, 3 locals have had work selected for the entire tour - and apparently I'm one of them - we'll see...)

One piece of news that is completely reliable is... (drum roll please)... HHT has just acquired an edition of 'Fahrenheit 451' for its collection - WOW. I'm thrilled that the piece is going to a public collection - and the work is an interesting choice for the Historic Houses Trust don't you think?

I'll drop another note or two about coming editions of work in the next while - before that though I want to show you my favourite piece in this exhibition....

... it is also by my absolute favourite person in the whole wide world - this is my bestest friend Margie (she's more like a wonderful big sister really) - I managed to get her to stand in front of her work (it's the one closest to camera) 'In memory of Henry David Thoreau' - an exquisite forged bookstand (Margi is one of the few female traditional blacksmiths in this country - she's an amazing artisan) with a little gem of a booklet (also by M) placed on it. In the booklet are tiny treasures that she has collected and saved or captured in photo form - like curly leaves, feathers, butterfly wings - as well as poems she has penned whilst bushwalking and wool she has spun and dyed from natural materials - it's just a delight.

sooo if you are in Bega over the next couple of weeks - drop into Spiral and catch the show.

Friday, October 2, 2009

artistcareer bloggy bits

I'm always a bit slow on the uptake – I've only just realised that artistcareer has released its latest newsletter with arty type blogs included. And yes my little patch was included – but I was so heartened to see fellow book art object folk sara and amanda had their blogs there too – nice!

I had a quick peruse of the list (as you do...) and found a few gems:

I loved finding prophet of bloom as I really adore what india flint gets up to (I love her book eco colour)

...then I fell over sewn earth with more eco fibre work... but I think my favourite find was jay dee - on the face of it jay dee and I share quite a few interests: Slow movement (snap) eco awareness (snap) booky things (big snap) so I'll have to drop by again and see what she is getting up to

there were oodles of blogs to check out (not all were my cup of tea – but you might LOVE them) drop over to the artistcareer site and have fun.

right now – I'm getting ready for the opening of the Meroogal Award at Spiral Gallery tonight (its first port of call in a long tour) I MUST remember to take my camera this time so I can share some pics!