Sunday, September 27, 2009

nava profile update

Last night I updated my very neglected NAVA profile with a few examples of very recent work – so today of course I'm feeling very vulnerable

aggghhhh who'd be an artist?

Of the works now on the site 'herstory', 'verbatim', 'ex libris' and 'fahrenheit 451' have been out and about – all the others are fresh from the studio, so haven't been seen by anyone other than the crew here at sams creek...


carved 2 volume dictionary - exhibited at 'Books... beyond words' August 2009

and don't get me started on the 'artist statement'..... one day I'm going to somehow cobble together a half decent artist statement.... at least that's the pep talk I'm still giving myself.

At the end of the day though – I'm actually quietly pleased with the works up on NAVA - now I just have to organise a proper outing for them all together...

Friday, September 25, 2009

lifeline books...

That very booky girl Ampersand Duck alerted me to the existence of the Lifeline Book Fair a couple of months ago and my-oh-my am I ever pleased she did! Early this morning my daddy (and his very large ute) and I headed up and over the hills to Canberra and came back with......

....a very large ute load of old books - WHeeeEEE!!!!!

The Lifeline Bookfair is a mammoth event - it's held twice a year over 3 days (today was day one) at the exhibition centre on the outskirts of the city - inside the large pavilion about 150 000 books are organised into general categories, laid out on trestle tables. There seemed to be almost as many people trying to wind their way around the tables - all with that rather distinctive glazed expression worn by the determined book hunter.

I made a beeline for the 'sets' sign.... and claimed the entire table of weird old encyclopaedias, weird newer reference books and a couple of prizes (a 5 volume reference set of art for $30 - bargain!). I then decided this seemed as good a place as any to set up camp - and leaving my daddy in charge of the booty ('guard them dad - growl at any interlopers - grrrrrrr') I made scurried trips to the other tables to bring back more claimed goodies (a monster medical dictionary, well ok 2 of them, a huge atlas, the complete works of shakespeare....) There aren't many times when being a short, determined, fast moving female is an advantage - fortunately trawling the tables of the Lifeline Bookfair is one of them!

In no time at all I had amassed quite a pile - and soon I was given my very own Lifeline volunteer.... who almost as quickly had decided that I was quite possibly absolutely certifiable (I made the mistake of telling him - 'oh no - I don't read them - they're for my ARRRRRRRT')

It took the lovely Lifeline volunteers some time to tally up all my finds - then it was time to load up the ute and head back home - happy in the knowledge that my purchases will go to fund the numerous projects undertaken by Lifeline.... ahhhh I feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside (or maybe it's just residual car sickness...)

***oooh and in case you are worried - these books aren't destined for a fiery end.... and that's all I'm saying about their future fate at this point.....

Sunday, September 20, 2009

binding issues...

Since July I've been binding a very, very, very loooong coptic 'book' and the night before last I finally finished it - wheeeee!

The book is 2.4m long (or 8ft for all you imperialists!) and I used almost 100m of waxed linen thread to bind the un-counted sections together - each section in the book is a single page from Colliers encyclopaedias that has been folded and cut down into 16 leaves - the work contains approx 5-6 volumes from the set of encyclopaedias - so it's a rather heavy and unwieldy 'book'.

From the outset I had in mind that the piece may become part of a installation or exhibition that also contains my book stacks or burnt book images - as the work grew - I started to see how the piece could be arranged in seemingly limitless ways:

Laid out straight - the extreme length can be appreciated - so too can my careful arrangement of tones of the spine pages...

The piece can be easily rolled up to form a spiral - and looks just lovely (and its 'booky' nature is actually quite concealed like this)

but it's all the possibilites of freeform arrangements that has me really excited!

ooooh what fun!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

packers award

Today I travelled all the way up to Nowra (and back - that's 6hrs driving - huff-puff - goodness I'm tired) to give an artist's talk at the Meroogal Womens Art Award at the Shoalhaven City Art Centre

And whilst I was there Meroogal Curator, Barbara Konkolowicz, presented me with the Packer's Prize to go with my Judge's Commendation - how nice! (even nicer when I got home and opened up the envelope! thanks packers and gallery supporters!)

I don't know about you, but public speaking always leaves me lost for words - so to make things even more stress-free (!?!) when it was my turn to discuss my work, the folk of Meroogal wheeled in the video camera and boom - agghhhh!!!!! I had done all my preparation in the car whilst driving up to Nowra - and given that EJ came with me, that preparation was regularly interrupted with the need to give a nice rendition of 'old macdonalds' I had visions that my talk would end up becoming in a general sing-along - 'eee-i-ee-i-oo'

ahhhh well - what doesn't kill you makes you stronger - or so I'm told....

Sunday, September 13, 2009

book love

I am such a booky girl!

I love books – I mean I love, love, LOVE books!

I love the contents of books – all the possibilities contained between their covers....

I love the history of books – just think - where would we all be without Gutenberg's development of moveable type?

I love the design of books – is there anything more enticing than a brilliant book jacket design?

I love the structure of books – I love both traditional and unconventional forms - isn't it fascinating how form and function can combine to create something beyond the sum of its parts?…...

I love all the traditional crafts associated with books – calligraphy, bookbinding, printing, paper making, marbling, letterpress....

I love the process of creating books – ooooooh all the possibilities....

I love what books are – I love what they can be

I love books....

A while ago I added 'Library thing' to the sidebar of this blog – so that I could share with everyone some (only some!) of the treasures from my library. Today I decided I would add a list (called 'currently reading') of books and bits that I'm presently reading – (the titles are linked to Amazon for convenience – I've never actually used Amazon....).

Maybe you've read one/some of the titles? – maybe you're reading one of them right now? (wouldn't that be strangely serendipitous!) Maybe you've got a favourite you'd like to introduce me to? (I'm all ears...)

(this was a birthday gift - I'm still nose deep in the pages -
the garden and author are local - so it's a double whammy of wonderful!)

I'll try to add/change the list at the beginning of each month...

ahhhh books – what's not to love?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

meroogal women's art award

I've been so distracted by bushfires and dying modems and the like that I've completely forgotten to tell all and sundry about the news from the meroogal womens art award... duh!

the big (ok - medium sized) news is that the piece I sent in to the meroogal award not only was selected for the exhibition - but actually received a commendation (it seems to be the word that I'm mostly attached to lately... hmmmm.......)

I posted a pic of the artwork in its unmodified manifestation in an earlier post - just as a reminder this is kinda what I sent in....

well - it was a cropped and very enlarged version of this at any rate!

the final printed piece was almost life size - at about 4ft tall and 2ft wide (and mostly the books where in the frame) - block mounted (my framers were in full heart attack mode - 'aggghhhhh you want to block mount this - are you an idiot!?!!') hey what can I say - most art awards demand no glass and 'd' ring fittings and all that..... (up to and almost including the rights to your first born child...)

The theme for this year's award was 'Books and the world of ideas' - and you guys all know I have PLENTY of IDEAS! Originally I was making something totally different for the award (go check out my flickr site...) but at the last moment changed my mind and settled on one if my burning books images instead

This is the brief artist statement I included with the work....

'Fahrenheit 451' refers to the dystopian novel of the same name written by Ray Bradbury in the 1950s. In the novel, books are outlawed and burned 'for the good of humanity' - Fahrneheit 451 is the temperature at which books auto-ignite. Burning books has historically been the means of suppressing ideas and alternate viewpoints… even though the books used in my work were discarded encyclopaedias – destined for landfill, the action of destroying them by fire remains an uncomfortable practice.

With 'Fahrenheit 451' I'm presenting the antithesis of what the Meroogal library represents: the preservation of Books and the World of Ideas...

next weekend (Saturday 19 Sept), all things being equal, I'm hoping to get up to the Shoalhaven City Arts Centre and give a slightly longer chat about the making of the piece et al. whilst the exhibition is still in Nowra... I'll give a confirmation on my fb page before the date - fingers crossed I'll see some friendly familiar faces there!

and right now I'm working on creating a short edition of the work (again I'll let you know both here and at my fb page how those plans are progressing) - so much work - so little time!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

more frustration...

Its been another frustrating week without a modem and working internet (so I'm off 'borrowing' a connection again...thanks oh daddy of mine)

I was expecting to be heading to Sydney this past weekend to attend a marbling workshop with Joan Ajala... but poor Joan had an accident that has caused the workshop to be postponed – bummer! I had visions of creating a stockpile of wonderful marbled papers to use in my various arty projects (including the book-art-object project I've committed myself to).... but it's just not to be.

Many years ago as part of the requirement for my Diploma of Western Calligraphy I was fortunate to spend a week learning marbling and paste paper techniques with the extremely incredible Margo Snape. Margo single-handedly revived the skill of Turkish watercolour marbling in this country (and in the process became internationally regarded). She is also a guild member and life member of the ASC (she has been there from the very beginning – goodness but she is simply a living treasure – and such a funny funny lady!). It was one of the last times she lead workshops in the craft as glaucoma was gradually robbing her sight. I still have a few precious bits of paper left in my drawers as a reminder of that fabulous week...

Ahhh well – I'm consoling myself with the recent arrival of a parcel of delicious coloured and waxed linen thread that I've received from Bibiani....

the mind is ticking over with the possibilities already...